King.com the company behind the popular Candy Crush Saga was awarded a registered trademark for the word Candy as it relates to video games and clothing. Yes clothing.
Here is a link to the TM at the USPTO
One important thing to note is there still could be opposition. In the filing it says under status,
Gamezebo.com broke the news today and spoke to others in the gaming space who may be affected.
“Lots of devs are frustrated cause it seems so ridiculous” says Benny Hsu, the maker of All Candy Casino Slots – Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land. Benny’s game, which shares no similarities with King’s properties aside from the word ‘candy,’ is one of a number of games that have been targeted by King.
Hsu contacted Sophie Hallstrom, King’s IP paralegal, to discuss the matter further. Rather than the simple “oops, our mistake” that Benny was hoping for, he was given a very finite response. “Your use of CANDY SLOTS in your app icon uses our CANDY trade mark exactly, for identical goods, which amounts to trade mark infringement and is likely to lead to consumer confusion and damage to our brand,” reads Hallstrom’s reply. “The addition of only the descriptive term “SLOTS” does nothing to lessen the likelihood of confusion.”
So how does a word like ‘candy’ get trademarked? According to Martin Schwimmer, a partner at the IP legal firm Leeson Ellis (and the man behind The Trademark Blog), it’s all about how strong a connection the claimant has to that mark when it comes to a particular good or service. Think of Apple, for example. Nobody is going to expect the electronics giant to lay claim over the fruit, but if someone were to try to market an electronic device under that name, you’d better believe their lawyers would swoop in.
So the question then, is whether or not there’s a strong enough connection between the word ‘candy’ and video games as it pertains to Candy Crush Saga. According to the US Trademark Office, the answer is a bona fide yes.