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Candy Crush studio successfully trademarks 'Candy'

King sending legal warnings to developers whose games include the word in their title

The company behind Candy Crush Saga has successfully registered the word 'Candy' as a trademark, and has now begun asking indie developers to remove their games from the iOS App Store if they feature the word in the title.

King filed the trademark request for the word 'Candy' in February 2013. It was approved on January 15, 2014.

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The trademark covers the use of the word Candy on a wide range of goods, not limited to video games but also including the likes of headphones, mobile phone cases and calculators.

According to GameZebo, King has already started issuing other app developers with letters (via Apple's legal department) asking them to either remove their app or prove it doesn't infringe on King's trademark.

Indie developer Benny Hsu told the site that he contacted King after receiving a letter concerning his game, All Candy Casino Slots.

Hsu says King replied: "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."

This may not necessarily spell bad news for all indie developers with games featuring the word in their title. IP legal expert Martin Schwimmer also explained to GameZebo that developers may be able to claim they thought of the word 'Candy' on their own and weren't inspired by Candy Crush Saga.

"Someone can't plausibly claim that they came up with the term 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' on their own", he explained. "An incredibly unique trademark like that is somewhat easy to protect."

UPDATE: A King spokesperson has responded to this report, confirming to GI.biz that it has indeed trademarked the use of 'Candy', but insisting that it won't enforce against all uses of the word.

"We have trademarked the word 'CANDY' in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we have to enforce our rights and to protect our players from confusion.

"We don't enforce against all uses of CANDY - some are legitimate and of course, we would not ask App developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so."

The spokesperson added: "The particular App in this instance was called 'Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land', but its icon in the App store just says 'Candy Slots', focussing heavily on our trademark.

"As well as infringing our and other developer's IP, use of keywords like this as an App name is also a clear breach of Apple's terms of use. We believe this App name was a a calculated attempt to use other companies' IP to enhance its own games, through means such as search rankings."

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