A Manchester law firm has weighed in on the on-going Candy Crush Saga, claiming the makers of the popular Facebook game can sue rival developers over trademark infringements.
The UK based company, King.com, or King, caused a stir among competitors after they trademarked the word ‘candy’.
In protest, independent developers have started a movement which they are they are calling a ‘candy jam’, which involves producing games that use the word ‘candy’ in their title.
Rivals plan to fill Apple’s App Store with ‘candy’ games in a demonstration against King.
Colin Bell, a senior associate in the IP team at Brabners, told MM: “King.com have pursued an aggressive trademark filing strategy which could prevent other games from using the term ‘Candy’ in their name.
“The ‘candy jam’ project is likely to infringe the King.com trade mark for ‘Candy’, and those behind it may be sued if King.com choose to take action.
“Other games may be able to use terms that are protected by trademarks, if such terms are used descriptively and accurately describe the game.”
Since its launch in 2012 Candy Crush Saga has been downloaded more than 500million times and was the top downloaded free app of last year.
King made the strategic decision to register a trademark to protect the apps name and ensure that the success of the game will continue throughout 2014.
Developers hope that by creating hundreds of games with ‘candy’ in the name, it will make the term generic, and can therefore be used.
Hayley Hall, another Branbers employee, added: “Unless King.com enforces their legitimate trade mark rights to ‘Candy’ against infringers they risk losing their rights through acquiescence, and the more ‘Candy’ games that are created the more likely the mark is to become generic.”
Currently there are more than 100 different ‘candy’ games which have been created, which include Candy Cruiser Planetary Rescue Saga and Super Candy Handy Mandy Saga.
A spokesman for King.com, said: “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.
“We believe this app name was a calculated attempt to use other companies’ intellectual property to enhance its own games through means such as search rankings.”
Image courtesy of King.com via YouTube, with thanks.