Looks like Apple isn't the only company who can sue others for terrible reasons. King, the studio responsible for the popular Candy Crush Saga, has successfully trademarked the word "candy" for use in video games and clothing. Furthormore, at least one developer has reported being contacted by Apple if their game contains the word "candy."
Mobile developer King.com first filed for the trademark back in February 2013, and it was approved last week, on January 15. This means that no other game or clothing line can use the word "candy" in their names.
Benny Hsu, the creator of All Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land, has been vocal about the trademark. We can't blame him either, since he was contacted and asked to remove his app from the App Store due to the use of "Candy Slots" in its name. Apparently, this is a trademark infringement:
“Your use of CANDY SLOTS in your app icon uses our CANDY trade mark exactly, for identical goods, which amounts to trade mark infringement and is likely to lead to consumer confusion and damage to our brand. The addition of only the descriptive term ‘SLOTS’ does nothing to lessen the likelihood of confusion.”
When contacted about the notice, King.com issued a statement of their own, explaining their reasons for the letter. According to King, Candy Slots clearly infringes upon their IP, as well as those of other devs. Basically, they're sure this is intentional, so the notice was justified.
“We have trademarked the word ‘CANDY’ in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we have to enforce our rights and to protect our players from confusion. We don’t enforce against all uses of CANDY – some are legitimate and of course, we would not ask App developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so.
Yes, copycat apps are a big problem in the mobile games industry, where developers can more easily get away with that sort of thing. But does that justify King's trademark of the word "candy," thus disallowing the use of the word in clothing and video game brands?
Hsu also noted that plenty of smaller developers like himself just can't afford the legal fight behind defending their games. No doubt King.com knows this too. Recently, the studio has also filed a notice of opposition against Stoic over their Kickstarter success The Banner Saga, as well.