CandySwipe Letter Spat: Game Association Investigating Candy Crush Saga Trademark

February 21, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

The developer of Candy Crush Saga, King.com, is under investigation by the International Game Developers Association (IDGA) amid allegations from Albert Ransom, who runs Runsome Apps, that King copied his game CandySwipe.

The U.S. Trademark Office last month approved King’s trademarks for “candy” and “saga,” which means that games like CandySwipe and other apps are in trouble. The developers of the games will have to remove references to “candy” and “saga,” CNET reported.

But the IDGA says that King’s trademark is problematic.

“While we understand and respect the appropriate exercise of Trademark rights, King’s overreaching filing in its application for the Trademark for its game ‘Candy Crush Saga,’ and its predatory efforts to apply that mark to each separate word contained in that name, are in opposition to the values of openness and cooperation we support industry wide, and directly contradict the statement King’s CEO, Riccardo Zacconi, made on January 27th,” Kate Edwards, IDGA’s executive director, said in a statement.

About a week ago, Ransom penned a letter to King.

He wrote: “I have spent over three years working on this game as an independent app developer. I learned how to code on my own after my mother passed and CandySwipe was my first and most successful game; it’s my livelihood, and you are now attempting to take that away from me.”

“You have taken away the possibility of CandySwipe blossoming into what it has the potential of becoming. I have been quiet, not to exploit the situation, hoping that both sides could agree on a peaceful resolution. However, your move to buy a trademark for the sole purpose of getting away with infringing on the CandySwipe trademark and goodwill just sickens me.”

King responded by directing people to its open letter.

“Like any responsible company, we take appropriate steps to protect our IP, including our look-and-feel and trademarks. Our goals are simple: to ensure that our employees’ hard work is not simply copied elsewhere, that we avoid player confusion and that the integrity of our brands remains.”

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