back to article Candy Crush dev stuffs EU 'candy' trademark down gob

The company behind the wildly successful Candy Crush Saga mobile games franchise already has its mitts on the European trademark for the word "candy" and is now awaiting approval for its application for the same thing in the US. "We have trademarked the word 'CANDY' in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we …

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  1. Code Monkey
    Windows

    One side-effect is we'll have to go back to calling them "sweets".

    I approve.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Code Monkey

      What do you mean, "go back"? They have always been called sweets.

      1. Sooty

        Re: @Code Monkey

        never been called candy in any part of the UK I've been to either, always sweets

        ...or spogs where i'm from.

        1. Shane McCarrick

          Re: @Code Monkey

          Spogs are the little hundreds and thousands covered liquorice thingys- at least in Ireland. They are a particular kind of candy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Code Monkey

            Spogs are hard boiled sweets but then they were the only type of sweet we could afford. Maybe the rich kids on the private estate called their dark chocolate orange a spog but I doubt it.

            Ahh, we used to dream of a dark chocolate orange.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @Code Monkey

              what the hell is a dark chocolate orange?

              1. VinceH
                Coat

                Re: @Code Monkey

                "hat the hell is a dark chocolate orange?"

                It's a chocolate orange that is currently operating without being in any form of communication with its superiors.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Code Monkey

                >what the hell is a dark chocolate orange?

                Google images is your friend. Use it.

        2. david 63

          Names for sweets

          My relatives from Sheffield always used to refer to sweets as 'spice.' Confused the hell out of me when I was a kid. I hadn't even read Dune then.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: spice

            " My relatives from Sheffield always used to refer to sweets as 'spice.' "

            Presumably that's a different branch of slang from where the "Spice Girls" took their name.

  2. Crisp

    Like taking candy from a public domain baby.

    It's a bit cheeky, copying someone else's game mechanism and then trying to claim it as your own IP!

    1. Colin Brett

      Re: Like taking candy from a public domain baby.

      "It's a bit cheeky, copying someone else's game mechanism and then trying to claim it as your own IP!"

      Well put. The follow-up question being: who actually owns the rights/IP/copyright/software patents/source code to the original "Bejewelled" game(s)? (Or whatever family of games can trace its lineage back to the first version.)

      This is a serious question. I'm not trying to start a flame war.

      Colin

  3. wolfetone
    Coat

    Phew, they've only trademarked Candy.

    I can finally release my game Kandy Krush without fear of prosecution!

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Bit close, maybe.

      Perhaps 'Sweety Squish'?

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Bit close, maybe.

        Bonbon Bash?

      2. Oliver Mayes

        Re: Bit close, maybe.

        Confectionery compression?

        1. wolfetone

          Re: Bit close, maybe.

          What about "Haribo Hammer"?

          1. Matt 21

            Re: Bit close, maybe.

            Smarties smash?

            What about the film "I want Candy", I think that came out before the game.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Bit close, maybe.

              Toffee Twerk?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh, but in other news they are attacking companies that use the word "Saga". Soon it will be anyone using the word "crush" and so on.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Prior art

        The coffin dodgers holiday company that also bizzarely owns the AA may have the trademark equivalent of prior art on the work Saga.

        Although Im currently imagining a crash between a sweet lorry and a tourist bus reported with the headline Candy Crushes Saga.

        1. bigtimehustler

          Re: Prior art

          I also imagine the owners of the saga games console trademark may have something to say!

        2. Skizz

          Re: Prior art

          Prior art has nothing to do with trademarks. Trademarks just give protection against competitors producing similar products with similar names.

    3. Crisp

      Re: I can finally release my game Kandy Krush without fear of prosecution!

      Unless it got confused with Kandy Magazine's Krush.

      Possibly NSFW.

    4. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Phew...

      I'm looking forward to the slew of sequels, followed by the inevitable relaunch of the game that started it all: Kandy Krush Klassic.

  4. Def Silver badge
    Devil

    Outrageous

    Firstly such a generic term should never have been granted as a trademark in the first place.

    Secondly this statement: "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." is pure bullshit. If you don't actively pursue all infringers of a trademark you stand to lose it.

    They [King] have also been granted a trademark for "Saga", and are currently trying to prevent the developers of The Banner Saga from trademarking "Banner Saga".

    Personally I think someone should trademark "Crush" and sue King to smithereens.

    1. billse10

      Re: Outrageous

      "Firstly such a generic term should never have been granted as a trademark in the first place."

      Next we'll have patents being granted for obvious ideas for which there are loads of examples of prior art that even the most cursory search would reveal.

      Wait, the USPTO already does that. My mistake.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outrageous

      Oh do shut up and learn about trademarks.

      Apple

      Apricot

      Spectrum

      Windows

      Colt

      Magnum

      Ford

      Pebble

      Rover

      Lotus

      .

      And probably about a million other ones.

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: Outrageous @Lost all faith...

        If King's game had been called "Candy", I would be less infuriated, but it's not. It's called "Candy Crush Saga". There are hundreds of pre-existing games in the App Store, many of which were around long before CCS was released, that are now potentially under threat from King due to this overly generic trademark.

      2. MrXavia

        Re: Outrageous

        Yes but ALL of those are limited to specific areas, the problem is Candy is too generic, and they don't actually have a company or game called Candy, so yes trademark Candy Crush but NOT just CANDY...

        Please someone sensible overturn this idiotic decision...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outrageous

      Whoa, steady there lad, you'll do yourself a mischief!

      They're trademarking a name in reference to a product in a particular genre. They are not copyrighting the word "candy". They are trademarking the name "Candy" in the frame of reference to a video game in the software industry that involves sweet/fruit related activities within the context of a game. If you make a spreadsheet that's called "Candy's Financial Accounting Software" you're pretty much safe. If you make a close derivitive of Candy Crush game product and call it "Candy Fruit Smasher" you'll get a phone call, as you copied the idea and the product and you're trying to cash in on the popularity by even taking a derivitive name.

      Sit and have a think about about many products you have around you now that have a simple English word as part of their trademarked name, then how many other products share that name in other industries? Apple make gadgets but the market stalls and supermarkets don't have to sell those green fruit labelled as "Eve's Downfall" or "Cider Sources" do they because of some gadget company have trademarked the name? Apple Corp and Apple Records fell out as they were both simply called "Apple" at one point, especially as soon as Apple ( gadgets ) wanted to get in on the entertainment market they were going to clash as punters could easily be misled.

      Magnum is used in the wine business, but also as the name of weapon, a TV character, an ice cream, all different products in different markets and not easily confused with one another. Context and perception of the product and it's market.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Outrageous

        > They're trademarking a name in reference to a product in a particular genre.

        So that would be like Apple getting a trademark for the computer genre and leaving Apple Corp to have its Apple trademark in the music sector?

      2. NotWorkAdmin

        Re: Outrageous

        That's my understanding of trademarks (their use is usually assigned to the type of product they are intended to protect).

        That isn't, however, what the article states - "everything from bathrobes to DVDs".

        Completely farcical. They basically produced an updated version of Bejewelled, which itself was essentially an updated version of Tetris.

      3. MeRp

        Re: Outrageous

        The trademark filing has it covering all kinds of non-software things. Notable in its inclusion is "Headphones," which retroactively makes Skullcandy headphones a violation of this trademark. I'm sure other instances could be found.

        1. Colin Brett

          Re: Outrageous

          "The trademark filing has it covering all kinds of non-software things. Notable in its inclusion is "Headphones," which retroactively makes Skullcandy headphones a violation of this trademark. I'm sure other instances could be found."

          So where would this leave the Highlander movie? (there can be only one, two and three don't exist ;)

          Hooker: "Hi, I'm Candy."

          Kurgan: "Of course you are."

          Colin

      4. Smarty Pants

        Re: Outrageous

        I don't know I wanted a big bottle of fizzy wine for 'er indoors and lo and behold Tom Selleck turned up with Ice Cream and a shooter

    4. bigtimehustler

      Re: Outrageous

      How can they trademark saga? isn't it a trademark on a games console?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prior use of the term.

    I'm pretty sure the Italian washing machine people will be annoyed.

    http://www.candy-domestic.co.uk/

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Prior use of the term.

      "Please wait 30 minutes for the rinse cycle to start, or buy exclusive Candy Dollars and load unlimited washes for the next 24 hours!"

      1. Anonymous C0ward

        Re: Prior use of the term.

        Or use a hack, that gives you unlimited washes and bonus stain remover.

  6. ukgnome

    Excuse me

    You cant trademark a word that has been around for donkeys years.

    What will I ask for when I buy by cough candy?

    Who was the bertie bassetesque robot in Dr Who, The happiness patrol?

    And, won't this confuse people that want to buy a large load washing machine?

    Actually the last one is quite a valid point (not that the other two are not), but Candy appliances are already prevalent throughout Europe.

    1. NightFox

      Re: Excuse me

      But you don't trademark a word in isolation, you trademark the use of a word in a specific context.

      e.g. Everest can still call the things they install "Windows", but if they started to branch out into IT software they'd not been able to call their new OS the same thing. I could start making cakes and call them Everest cakes, it wouldn't be an issue (though arguably if I called them Everest Double Glazing Windows cakes it would as it could be construed that the name indicated an association).

      Royal Mail actually own a trademark on the colour red. That doesn't mean no one can use it, it just means any companies involved in the same business as RM can't use it as a predominant part of their branding.

      Of course it all gets a bit silly when merchandising comes in and you extend the original game/app context of the trademark to things like bath robes.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > According to the filing, the trademark covers the use of the word "Candy" in relation everything from bathrobes to DVDs

    I imagine the lawyers engaged by John Candy's estate are already leafing through the 2014 Ferrari catalogue...

  8. kbb

    Too little

    "King claims that it is only seeking the patent in order to prevent rival firms from ripping off Candy Crush."

    So why not trademark "Candy Crush" instead of just "Candy"?

  9. kevin king

    sweet are "ket" or "kets" for me

    I think the Italian domestic electrical manufacture Candy might have something to say about it http://www.candy-group.com/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      People in the north east are funny with sweet names.

      Mind you I was eating my bag of ket whilst in the netty so it's all good.

      If you asked me if you could do that I could possible answer "candee" making my whole post relevant

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Aapplies to clothing?

    So using the term 'Candy' to describe a coloured garment is no longer allowed? WTF?

    This site

    http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/fashion/shopping/2012/04/top-30-pastel-colour-dresses-shopping-guide

    boasts on its front page

    Welcome to the candy dress shop! To pull off this fashion treat, wear spring's saccharine, sweetie pie colours with nude beige or perfect white accessories...

    Lawyers all over the place will be ordering large quantities of yellow legal pads and extra sharp pencils.

    I can understand the TM applying to a computer game but to clothing when it is already widely used to describe a colour of clothes is quite beyond me.

    Perhaps we will have to say in future

    'Here comes Saskia modelling the latest dress. It is an colour that I dare not mention for fear of being sued'

  11. heyrick Silver badge
    FAIL

    Prior art

    There is already a brand called "Candy". Perhaps the only reason Candy Crush hasn't already had it's ass handed to it on a sueball plate is because the company concerned is European? But, you know, poking this with a stick might wake the monster.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We don't enforce against all uses of CANDY ..."

    Very wise. The Candyman might not be pleased.

  13. Nigel Brown

    Getting a little big for their boots with only one (admittedly very) successful game behind them aren't they?

    1. Cryo

      And their game was only successful because it was a generic clone of another successful game. A year or so from now, most of their players will have move on to whatever generic game becomes popular next, and the chances of it coming from them are rather slim.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Eh ?

    Don't Candy make exploding washing machines ?

    http://www.which.co.uk/news/2011/03/more-exploding-candy-washing-machines-248906/

    I would have thought Candy already have that trademark.

  15. thomas k.

    What about Hasbro?

    Good it only covers games on mobile devices, that probably means Candy Land is safe. But what if Hasbro wants to develope a version of their game for mobile devices, would they not be able to call it Candy Land?

  16. Avatar of They
    FAIL

    Who cares???

    It is a game designed around Capcom? or Konami or something similar game Bejeweled and not a very good rip off.

    All they did was add the fact you can pay for upgrades or actually pay to progress. And because the world is filled with morons they are actually getting stupid people to pay for it.

    Having looked at their sequels, the pet on is the same as an old spectrum game I used to play about coloured bricks in a certain order to clear the screen, in fact I have an old XP game that is the same idea.

    The other with witches is identical to a game I have on Linux distro's from way back with penguins.

    King.com haven't done an original thing yet. Just a shame too many stupid people pay.

  17. T. F. M. Reader
    WTF?

    Bathrobes? DVDs?

    Does this mean that no one can market candy apple red or candy pink bathrobes anymore? A lot of people, including some famous designers, may object (I just googled for fun).

    I assume films with "candy" in the title (or as the first name of someone in the cast) can still be released. Someone tell Robert De Niro et al. to change the title of Candy Store (maybe to Candy Crush as it is a thriller?) before it's too late.

    Seriously though, I do realize that one can trademark a word in a particular context related to a recognizable product. But what does the stupid game have to do with bathrobes or DVDs, FFS?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just to confirm...

    Here's the European TM registry entry for 'Candy' in the field of software:

    http://oami.europa.eu/eSearch/#advanced/trademarks/1/100/n1=MarkVerbalElementText&v1=candy&o1=AND&c1=CONTAINS&n2=GoodsServicesDescription&v2=software&o2=AND&sf=ApplicationNumber&so=asc

    King.com and/or Midasplayer (Skills) Limited own 'Candy Crush Saga', 'Candy Crush' and 'Candy' together with some logo versions.

    However, remember that TM registration is just that - registration, NOT examination or 'grant'. There is *no* presumption that these TMs are valid, just that they are registered as indicators of trade by the applicants in each case.

    It's worth noting that a lot of Candy-game TMs seem to appear with dates that follow Candy Crushes success. - this indicates King.com might have a point, and also underlines the fact that registration does not mean validity...

  19. Faye B
    Alert

    Toilet humour

    If your want a game that will be played on the toilet, shouldn't it be called Gummy Bears Saga. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/20/haribo_gummy_bears_implicated_in_gastric_exorcism/)

  20. kevin king

    Seems they are going after low rent games today "the Raven Banner" http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/01/22/king-are-trying-to-candy-crush-the-banner-saga/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Counterclaim

      Star Saga 1 released on Apple2 in 1988, and used subsequently in many video game titles. That one's from EA, others from Square Enix. Neither are low rent publishers. Also tempted to complain to the ASA about the misleading use of the word 'Saga' in the C-game. It doesn't appear to have much of a story, unless that's an additional DLC.

  21. john devoy

    confused

    I'm a little confused, from videos I've seen Candy Crush is nothing more than a bejeweled clone with a few tweaks; this means King feel its fine to rip off other people...but not ok for anyone to even appear to be doing it to them.

  22. diadomraz

    In the context of video games how will their Candy relate to http://donkeykong.wikia.com/wiki/Candy_Kong

  23. Mark 85 Silver badge

    So the phrase "eye candy"

    will need a royalty to be paid? Meh... a pox on them.

  24. Santaclaus

    In app purchase

    Surely King should be patenting £69.99 for a one time use get out of jail free card

  25. davefb

    what was that game again?

    "Candy Casino Slots – Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land"

    tbh the only surprise here is that there wasn't the words "Clash" or "Clans" in the name..

    oh , gamasutra mentions this..

    http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/JasPurewal/20140121/209020/Lets_talk_sense_about_game_trademarks_King_and_Candy_Crush.php

    No need for any King.com 'candy' tm. that breaks Apples rules..

  26. Graham Marsden
    Trollface

    Can I trademark...

    ... iCandy?

  27. Breen Whitman

    We call Candy/Sweets Lollies in New Zealand.

    I some contexts it has other meanings such as "Can I lick your Lolly", buts 99% of kids in NZ would ask mum for some money to buy some lollies at the corner shop.

    Candy is the name of a brothel in town.

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