Indie developer Albert Ransom published an open letter
to King today sardonically congratulating the developer of Candy Crush Saga
on its success and alleging that the company is fighting to cancel Ransom's trademark on his own game, CandySwipe
, which predates Candy Crush Saga
Ransom claims he has been quietly contesting
King's trademarks on Candy Crush Saga
in court since King registered them in 2012, on the grounds that it was likely to be confused with Ransom's own game, CandySwipe
, which was released two years before Saga
and appears nearly identical.
Ransom also claims King purchased the trademark for Candy Crusher
, a mobile game released in 2009, for the express purpose of attempting to cancel Ransom's trademark on CandySwipe
and thus extricate itself from the long-running legal battle.
"Your move to buy a trademark for the sole purpose of getting away with infringing on the CandySwipe
trademark and goodwill just sickens me," Ransom writes, before further admonishing King for attempting to quash his attempts to protect his own IP. "I myself was only trying to protect my hard work."
If true, Ransom's allegations directly contradict many of King's prior statements, especially those given in the wake of the Pac-Avoid cloning scandal
. To wit: "We [King] are respectful of the rights and IP of other developers. Before we launch any game, we do a thorough search of other games in the marketplace, as well as a review of trademark filings, to ensure that we are not infringing anyone else’s IP."
Gamasutra has reached out to King for comment on Ransom's letter, and will update the story with any meaningful response.