Dublin-based King Digital Entertainment, the development company behind the smash mobile hit game “Candy Crush Saga” has reportedly dropped its plans to trademark the word “Candy” in the United States this week.
The “Candy Crush Saga” maker filed a request for express abandonment of its “Candy” trademark application earlier this week according to records from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
While the filing signals that King Digital Entertainment has abandoned its aggressive plans to assert control over the word “Candy” in commercial use, this new development only affects its "Candy" application in the United States.
In a statement provided to Polygon, King commented on the trademark abandonment:
“King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher. Each market that King operates in is different with regard to IP. We feel that having the rights to Candy Crusher is the best option for protecting Candy Crush in the U.S. market. This does not affect our E.U. trademark for Candy and we continue to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP.”
King abandoned its quest to trademark “Candy” in the United States, but its aggressive actions to assert control over trademarks on words such as “Candy” and “Saga” left quite a sour taste in the mouths of the gaming community.
Earlier in January, the company attempted to block the trademark registration of “The Banner Saga,” an indie game with an ancient Norse mythology theme. This resulted in widespread online criticisms and gaming community backlash. Among the most prominent: The Candy Jam, a site and initiative started by independent game developers to create candy themed games with the words "candy" and "saga" in protest of King’s move to trademark “Candy.”
King made aggressive moves to assert its control over particular words used in game titles. However, there are concerns over its motion to block the registration of the “The Banner Saga” trademark by Stoic Studios.
According to USPTO filed documents, King’s application to trademark the word “Saga” was suspended back in December 2013 and October 2012 as well. However, its individual Trademark applications appear to still be active for its games that include “Bubble Saga,” “Bubble Witch Saga,” “Mahjong Saga,” etc.
Despite the “Candy Crush Saga” creator’s reversal on its “Candy” trademark, it’s unknown how public perception towards the "Candy" trademark fiasco will affect King’s $500 million initial public offering (IPO).