By Anni Simpson on February 25, 2014 at 3:42pm
King, the development company responsible for "Candy Crush Saga", withdrew its copyright application for the word "candy" today in a rare display of common sense. According to a statement released by the company today:
King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher. Each market that King operates in is different with regard to IP. We feel that having the rights to Candy Crusher is the best option for protecting Candy Crush in the U.S. market. This does not affect our E.U. trademark for Candy and we continue to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP.
King has come under fire this month for the way it handled a lawsuit against independent developer Albert Random, who allegedly designed a nearly identical game in 2010, two years before King released theirs. “Candy Crush Saga” and Random’s version of the game, “CandySwipe,” use similar graphics throughout the game. Random responded to King publicly with an open letter to King on Feb. 13:
Congratulations! You win! I created my game CandySwipe in memory of my late mother who passed away at an early age of 62 of leukemia. I released CandySwipe in 2010 five months after she passed and I made it because she always liked these sorts of games.
He also accused King of stealing his livelihood, stating he used profits from game development to support his family.
After initially winning the right to trademark “candy” in late January, King went after any and every developer who might have used a similar theme, whether or not they actually did, filing suits against developer Benjamin Hsu for All Candy Casino Slots”, a group of indie developers for Candy Jam, and even Stoic Studio for The Banner Saga.
King CEO Richard Zacconi apologized for the trolling defended his company’s attacks against the other games:
[We’re] only trying to prevent others from creating games that unfairly capitalize on our success … We don’t believe that “Banner Saga” resembles any of our games, but we already have a series of games where “Saga” is key to the brand.
Hopefully their decision to back down is a retreat from confusing, hypocritical statements like those made by Zacconi and the painful hypocrisy they displayed in copying “CandySwipe.”
Kotaku: Candy Crush Makers Don't Want to Trademark 'Candy' Anymore Arcade Sushi: CandySwipe Creator’s Letter to Candy Crush’s Developers Wired: Indie Developers Troll King Games Hard With ‘Candy Jam’