The developers of the popular mobile game, "Candy Crush Saga" now have complete ownership of the word "Candy," after the United States Patent and Trademark Office approved King.com's request for brand copyright after almost a year.
King.com Limited, publishers of the well-known mobile game "Candy Crush Saga," have got the legal right to use and publish the word "candy" as the company's trademark and sue those who infringe the newly acquired patent. After waiting for almost a year, the United States Patent and Trademark Office finally approved the trademark claim for "candy," Wednesday, January 15. The trademark includes games and software, educational services, and clothing too, according to Legal Force Trademarkia.
The game developers are already in action asking other publishers to either remove their app, which uses the word "candy", or prove that their game doesn't infringe the trademark. The patent grant has upset many developers as protecting a generic word like "candy" seems "so ridiculous," Benny Hsu, the maker of All Candy Casino Slots - Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land, told Gamezebo.
After contacting King's IP paralegal Sohie Hallstrom, Hsu got a precise response. "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," Hallstrom replied. "The addition of only the descriptive term "SLOTS" does nothing to lessen the likelihood of confusion."
King's Candy Crush Saga has become very popular and was awarded the most-downloaded free game on iPhones and iPads in the year 2013. The game publisher claims that users play more than 30 billion games per month. Candy Crush made its entry into the Facebook world in April 2012 and launched as a game for smartphones in November last year. According to King's data, more than 500 million users downloaded the game globally and played more than 150 billion times, as of last November, when the game completed its first successful year.
Emerging companies often protect their brand name by filing a trademark patent. As silly as it may sound, in August last year T-Mobile sued AT&T's prepaid subsidiary, AIO Wireless, for choosing a color in its logo that is almost identical to T-Mo's famous magenta color trademark. Surprisingly, Warner/Chappell Music Inc., the publishing arm of Warner Music Group, reportedly owns the copyrights of the popular "Happy Birthday to You" song and charges licensing fees for the song's reproduction, distribution and public performances. This practice also attracted a lawsuit from a New-York-based filmmaker in June last year demanding the song be made free for public use.