– Anjali Shankar, Attorney –
The first time I heard the phrase “Candy Crush,” I remember thinking it was something edible. In actuality, Candy Crush (also known as “Candy Crush Saga”) is a game developed by the developer King.com, Ltd. (King) for Facebook and smartphones. I personally have never played the game but have heard tales of its addictiveness.
King previously attempted to trademark the word “candy” in an effort to avoid persistent infringement. The Company obtained a trademark from the European Union, which extends not only to computers, but also clothing and footwear. King’s trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was recently approved with respect to certain computer games and clothing items.
Incidentally, while attempting to protect its own rights, King may have been infringing another company’s intellectual property rights. Recently, Albert Ransom, president and founder of Runsome Apps, Inc., the creator of the game “CandySwipe,” wrote an open letter to King stating that CandySwipe was released two years before Candy Crush, and noting that the app icon, candy pieces and word “Sweet” were virtually identical. King has allegedly been seeking to remove the trademark of CandySwipe.
So, if CandySwipe was released before Candy Crush, how is it that King can seek removal of the CandySwipe trademark? Apparently, in January 2014, King bought a trademark for the game “Candy Crusher,” which was trademarked in 2004, six years before CandySwipe. While Candy Crusher does not share similarities with the other two games, King appears to be leveraging the trademark as a basis for removing the CandySwipe trademark.
We will have to wait and see how the saga continues.