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Candy Crush dev trademarks the word "Candy," Apple legal goes after infringing games

Yagharek

Member
Mar 3, 2007
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0
This is why the frontier of mobile games (not so much the platform, just the rapid expansion/bubble) is such a clusterfuck.

You have Apple pretty much permitting open slather plagiarism on one hand (c.f all the nintenclone games) , and on the other they enforce the unrealistic and essentially fraudulent trademark of a common word like candy which has already been used in a videogame context before this latest scam.
 

StreetsAhead

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Jun 13, 2011
12,626
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Banning "common use words" from being trademarked would destroy the brands of many well-known and well-established companies: Apple Computers, Shell Gasoline, Caterpillar Machines, Time Magazine....

Instead, trademarks are governed by a scale of distinctiveness. Common words are entirely suitable for trademarks, though their applicability is greater the closer they are to the "arbitrary" end of the scale (as with Apple Computer, where real-life apples have nothing to do with computers.)

In reality, the problem here isn't that the word "candy" was trademarked. There are lots of legitimate trademarks of simple, common words that would stand easily in the gaming sphere -- to pick a really obvious example, "Doom" would be a slam-dunk. The problem is rather that the distinctive mark of this game isn't the word "Candy," it's the combination phrase "Candy Crush," and that a trademark applying to only the word "Candy" in isolation claims an unreasonably broad swathe that isn't justified by their actual brand in usage.

Thank you for this reasonable explanation. The amount of general misinformation and confusion between patents, trademarks, and copyrights in this thread, relative to the amount of anger and indignation this is causing is painful to read.

I do agree that trademarking 'Candy' is the problem here; it's far too broad to be justified.
 

DiscoJer

Member
Sep 26, 2009
12,300
775
1,030
St. Louis
When it comes to brand names of companies, trademarking a single, common word makes sense. (Though in the case of Apple computer, you had Apple Records before it)

But when it comes to product names, I think it's iffier. And in this case, I would argue that video games are more like books and movies than a physical product line (like say a car brand).

Trademarking a phrase, like Star Wars make sense. But simply trademarking part of that, either Star or Wars shouldn't be acceptable. Does anyone confuse Star Trek and Star Wars? Not many people, I imagine.

In this case, trademarking Candy Crush Saga makes sense, and they could go after games like Candy Pop Saga or somesuch.

But games like Banner Saga, which have nothing to do with it?
 

Labrys

Member
Sep 19, 2012
3,863
0
430
United States
they should make it so you can only copyright or trademark phrases, un-unique words or things over two words

so they could copyright Candy Crush but not just Candy or Crush

kinda like how Nintendo has Animal Crossing but not Animal or Crossing, etc.
 

nephilimdj

Member
Jan 31, 2011
5,842
57
705
Straya
For those saying its not as bad as patents, look at uggboots on wikipedia.
american company tried to block every company in australia making them,due to them gaining the naming rights in USA.
 

Keasar

Member
Apr 1, 2010
9,757
1
0
Skövde, Sweden
Goddamnit. One of these King.com idiots was here at the area where I work to hold a presentation about mobile game development a couple of months ago, something about "mobile game developers are the übermensch of game development" and "look at how much money we have". I really regret that I didn't run up the stage and punched him in the gut.
 

PsychoRaven

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Feb 24, 2005
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Thank you for this reasonable explanation. The amount of general misinformation and confusion between patents, trademarks, and copyrights in this thread, relative to the amount of anger and indignation this is causing is painful to read.

I do agree that trademarking 'Candy' is the problem here; it's far too broad to be justified.

I think most would agree that trademarking Candy Crush would be fine. That's the name of their game. That is fine and all good. As pointed out though it's just the word Candy that is the problem. The problem is that the system would ideally have common sense and that's so goddamn rare it's a superpower. Take Apple. In this case for them you could say yea the one word makes sense cause it's the name of their business. However in the case of Candy Crush Saga you probably should avoid allowing them to trademark the one word.
 

crazygambit

Member
Jun 4, 2007
4,928
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0
That's not what trademarks do. They trademark the word in a particular context, in this context mobile games, so they can go after clones. In the same way, Microsoft has the trademark for Windows but Bill Gates doesn't walk house to house throwing rocks at them with legal impunity.

Games AND clothing for some reason. He's screwed.
 

DangerousDave

Member
Mar 27, 2009
4,281
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0
The guy who made Doodle-jump tried to do this to all games that had the word 'Doodle' in the title, but ended up backing down.

http://www.destructoid.com/lima-sky-backs-down-from-doodle-jump-copyright-claim-191645.phtml

But in this case it had some sense because most of those games tried to replicate the aesthetics and the concept, applied to other kind of games. Is still shady, but the cases of Edge or Candy is basically suing games that use that word by coincidence.
 

_hekk05

Banned
Nov 5, 2013
6,111
0
0
asia
This is actually good!

The more they overstep their bounds, the more they cross the proverbial line, the faster trademark and copyright reforms come.
 

superbank

The definition of front-butt.
Apr 5, 2007
3,995
0
0
This is actually good!

The more they overstep their bounds, the more they cross the proverbial line, the faster trademark and copyright reforms come.

Well, I guess. Copyright is fine though, I think. You were probably thinking of patents and patent trolls?

King being given "Candy" and "Saga" as separate entities seems like such a rookie mistake. I wouldn't rule out them paying someone off with their gobs of app money. If this was an honest assessment of the brand we're in even more trouble.
 

Astery

Member
Jun 6, 2009
2,731
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0
Hong Kong
Just realized this today, how is this even possible?
I will support all causes to trademark "crush" and go after King (the dev).
 

Nymphae

Banned
Jun 3, 2013
14,670
22,899
1,235
Canada
There's no way this is going to happen, this is going to get shot down.

From the AT article above:

Before the trademark is granted, King will first have to get through a 30-day period where anyone can file an official opposition to the filing (as explained in detail here).

"Realistically, I would assume a small army of people will oppose [this trademark filing]," Mark Methenitis, chair of the Video Game Committee at the American Bar Association and the editor-in-chief of the Law of the Game blog, told Ars. "I have to assume there will be a lot of opposition, as there are dozens of 'candy' games that predate Candy Crush."

Hopefully this happens, and King gets put in it's place. Fucking craziness, they've certainly guaranteed I will never download anything from them in the future.
 

Mario

Sidhe / PikPok
Jul 15, 2005
8,905
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Wellington, NZ
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This is why the frontier of mobile games (not so much the platform, just the rapid expansion/bubble) is such a clusterfuck.

You have Apple pretty much permitting open slather plagiarism on one hand (c.f all the nintenclone games) , and on the other they enforce the unrealistic and essentially fraudulent trademark of a common word like candy which has already been used in a videogame context before this latest scam.

Apple don't automatically take down titles on the basis of claimed infringement. They only notify the defending party of the claim and put the onus on the claimant to sort it out directly from a legal standpoint.

Games being "taken off the store" is normally the defendant doing it themselves.

Edit: a mod should change the title because "Apple legal" isn't going after anybody
 

superbank

The definition of front-butt.
Apr 5, 2007
3,995
0
0
Hey look King is also going after The Banner Saga: http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/ttabvue-91214235-OPP-1.pdf
Wow I didn't know they had that many games. So many games with Saga in the name predate theirs. Shouldn't that count for something?

Edit: a mod should change the title because "Apple legal" isn't going after anybody
No. They should change it to "Candy Crush dev trademarks the word "Candy," "Saga," files against The Banner Saga" or something like that.

edit: Did you edit your post? I thought I read something else. Oh well.
 

Green Wiggly

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Aug 19, 2011
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485
Goddamnit. One of these King.com idiots was here at the area where I work to hold a presentation about mobile game development a couple of months ago, something about "mobile game developers are the übermensch of game development" and "look at how much money we have". I really regret that I didn't run up the stage and punched him in the gut.

I regret that you didn't do that too.
 

MHWilliams

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Oct 18, 2013
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As I noted in my version of the story, King.com's Saga trademark is currently suspended. So they're just opposing Stoic's filing.

http://www.trademarkia.com/saga-85482736.html

 

Tash

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May 26, 2012
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The Ars T article is great. I am sure they won't actually get the final approval. Pretty sure there will be quite a few parties going into opposition within those 30 days.
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
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As I noted in my version of the story, King.com's Saga trademark is currently suspended. So they're just opposing Stoic's filing.
On one hand at least they actually are making a lot more than just Candy Crush Saga using that word.

On the other hand this may be the grossest abuse and attempted claiming of a word I've ever seen. Consider what the word saga actually means then look at all that crap they're mindlessly slapping the word on. At least if Square was going crazy over Saga ownership you could point to many games that are deserving of the word based on subject matter, even if the quality of the games was all over the place.
 

Mario

Sidhe / PikPok
Jul 15, 2005
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No. They should change it to "Candy Crush dev trademarks the word "Candy," "Saga," files against The Banner Saga" or something like that.

edit: Did you edit your post? I thought I read something else. Oh well.

No. I didn't change my post.

I'm just calling out that Apple isn't doing anything wrong here but the title implies they are.
 

superbank

The definition of front-butt.
Apr 5, 2007
3,995
0
0
No. I didn't change my post.

I'm just calling out that Apple isn't doing anything wrong here but the title implies they are.
I agree. I must've been on gaf too long. @_@

Also I made a comment about the state of copyright being fine and totally forgot about all of the terrible youtube takedowns. Completely slipped my mind for some reason. It seems all of these systems have exploitable flaws.
 

MagnaderAlpha

Member
Jul 14, 2013
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350
Common use words shouldn't be able to be trademarked in this way.

This is the problem with laws, it protects stupid shit like this.

There should be a law that states no one word can be trademarked indefinitely, but a collection of words(as in phrases) can be trademarked, as well as fictional words for the sake of franchising. If a single word holds significance to it's franchise as it acts as the title title of said franchise, the trademark will be in relation to it's significance corresponding to that franchise and that franchise ONLY.

Example, if someone trademarks the word "Mythic", the trademark only stands for it's franchise("Mythic" Series), but it doesn't keep others from using the word "Mythic" in titles and such, like "Mythic Adventure"(which could be it's own series).

In all seriousness, I think the law folk need a "grand sweep" of the books to clean up all the loop holes and add said "fixer upper" laws and measures to every coming ballot, just for the sake of adding more efficiency to the system.

Odd enough, I think some don't want it to ever be fixed. It's like a mother with Munchausen's syndrome, continuing to make their child sick for the attention. They can use the flaws for their own agendas. People like that(stains on law, not Munchausen mothers), need to be rooted out like the weeds they are and tossed into a furnace, then have their ashes be piled into a rocket and send that rocket into the heart of the sun!
 

Eusis

Member
Apr 15, 2011
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All I can say is this sort of thing is OUTRAGEOUS! Can you truly trademark a word like 'candy'?
Under the right circumstances. They're certainly closer to a legitimate claim on that than Saga anyway despite abusing the hell out of that word.
 

Dire

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Aug 18, 2007
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What would happen if you created a new amazing adventure game "the ThE THE!!" and naturally decided to trademark your key IP term.