King, 'Candy Crush Saga' Developer, Faces New Obstacle As ZeptoLab Fights King's EU 'Candy' Trademark

  @lukeydukeyl.villapaz@ibtimes.com on March 25 2014 8:21 AM
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King Digital Entertainment faces a new obstacle after UK-based ZeptoLab filed legal objections to King's EU "candy" trademark. Reuters

The game developer and creator of the mobile franchise “Cut the Rope” announced on Tuesday that it is in the process of attempting to cancel King.com’s trademark registration of the word “candy” in the European Union.

ZeptoLab UK Ltd. made the announcement one day before King, maker of the popular smartphone game “Candy Crush Saga,” is set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company, based in Dublin, Ireland, will operate as King Digital Entertainment PLC and will begin trading Wednesday on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “KING.”

Weeks after King filed its IPO in February, the company abandoned its efforts to trademark “candy” in the U.S. following significant backlash from the gaming community and developers. At the time, King also asserted that the company's abandonment of its efforts to trademark “candy” in the U.S. didn't affect the status of its trademark in the European Union.

ZeptoLab objected to King’s “candy” trademark in the European Union since it covers a wide variety of uses, including video games, video game services and even clothing such as T-shirts. Furthermore, ZeptoLab asserts that King is using its EU “candy” trademark as a basis for additional trademark filings for the word “candy” in other countries.

ZeptoLab CEO Misha Lyalin said in a statement that "Candy is an integral part of the 'Cut the Rope' franchise and we do not support King.com trademarking and preventing others from using it.”

While King’s EU trademark remains active, if ZeptoLab’s legal filing is successful, applications based on the original EU “candy” trademark registration are expected to be dissolved as well.

This latest move by ZeptoLab is part of a battle between King and other game developers over the use of words such as “candy” and “saga” in intellectual property titles. Last month, indie developers fought back over King’s aggressive IP enforcement actions by hosting a Candy Jam, where developers created free games that used the words “candy” and “saga” in their titles in protest of King’s claim over the use of the words in its IP offerings.

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