If you have the word Candy in the name of your app, watch out. King.com Limited — the makers of the hypnotically popular mobile game Candy Crush Saga — is gunning for you. They have trademarked the word ‘candy.’
Developers with the word ‘Candy’ in the names of their apps are starting to get threatening letters from King.com, asking them to change the name of their apps or lawyer up and prove that their game doesn’t infringe.
One such developer was Benjamin Hsu, the creator of All Candy Casino Slots. “Myself and other indie developers don’t have the money or resources to fight back,” Hsu explained. “I plan on changing the name if that is what I must do.”
According to King.com’s trademark filing, they are claiming the right to the trademark on the word ‘candy’ for games, educational services, and clothing. It’s not that developers can’t fight this trademark: if they can prove they came up with their app name independently, they are golden. However, to do so would be to go head-to-head with a financial juggernaut, who can simply starve them out.
In other words, this seems like pretty clear cut legal bullying, but there might be no recourse until King.com slips up and goes after a bigger player who can afford to try to fight the candy crusher in court and get their trademark invalidated.