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King files to abandon 'candy' trademark in the U.S.

King files to abandon 'candy' trademark in the U.S.

February 25, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

Yesterday the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office received a request for express abandonment of King's trademark on the term "candy", suggesting the maker of Candy Crush Saga may have quietly decided to abandon its controversial brand protection strategy.

Last February King filed an application to trademark the word "candy" across a broad variety of products, from shower caps to computer games. In January of this year King got a step closer to owning that trademark, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved it for publication.

The office finally went ahead and published King's trademark on "candy" today for legal opposition, which allows other parties to contest and potentially prevent the trademark from being registered.

It's an odd coincidence in light of the fact that someone purporting to be King or its legal representative filed to cancel the trademark yesterday; King legally opposed Stoic's attempt to trademark "The Banner Saga" last month, and now it seems the company has filed to abandon one of its own trademarks before it can be opposed.

UPDATE: When reached for comment, a King representative gave the following statement to Gamasutra:

"King has withdrawn its trademark application for "candy" in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher.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."

You may remember that indie developer Albert Ransom recently published an open letter to King admonishing the company for buying up the rights to Candy Crusher, a game published in 2009, for what Ransom believed to be the express purpose of cancelling Ransom's trademark on his game CandySwipe.

Ransom had been attempting to contest King's trademark on "Candy Crush Saga" because it could be confused with his game CandySwipe, which was published before Candy Crush Saga but after Candy Crusher.

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