Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store Devs Beware – King Trademarks the Word ‘Candy’
After a year-long wait, King.com received approval of their trademark claim for the word ‘CANDY’. With their newly-acquired credentials, King now demands games that have that word in their title be taken down from Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) app store.
For those who miraculously managed to spend all of 2013 without hearing about King and their wildly successful game, Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzler with a few slight twists. The game achieved stellar popularity with its late 2012 launch on mobile devices. London-based developer King managed to polish its title to viral perfection, with Candy Crush generating $950 thousand in daily revenues from in-app purchases (estimate figures provided by ThinkGaming).
Obviously the connection King has developed with its confectionery game was strong enough for the U.S. trademark office to grant the developer’s claim. An extended description of the media and items covered by the trademark can be found here.
King seems very eager to enforce its freshly-acquired trademark, as reports are coming in from developers who started receiving emails from Apple notifying of infringement. GameZebo reported that the maker of a game named ‘All Candy Casino Slots – Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land’ received one such email. While the game is rather blatantly titled with the intention to appear in as many ‘similar to’ lists as possible and the name looks a lot like popular game keywords strung together, this could be the start of a much bigger push from King.
It’s only natural that King will do its best to protect its intellectual property as Candy Crush is making millions every month, the question is how reasonable such a blanket trademark approval is. The game is still topping Apple’s top grossing app chart, according to Distimo analytics, with Supercell’s Clash of Clans coming in second.
On a curious side note, the trademark covers not only mobile apps but video games for other media, as well as a large number of clothing items. There is a significant amount of games out there that have ‘candy’ somewhere in their name so if the trademark situation escalates, it could be quite a sight.