Cut the Rope developer challenging King’s “Candy” trademark in EU courts

From King’s January blog post:

We’ve been the subject of no little scorn for our actions on this front, but the truth is that there is nothing very unusual about trademarking a common word for specific uses. Think of “Time,” “Money,” “Fortune,” “Apple” and “Sun”, to name a few. We are not trying to control the world’s use of the word “Candy;” having a trademark doesn’t allow us to do that anyway. We’re just trying to prevent others from creating games that unfairly capitalise on our success.

Looks like ZeptoLab doesn’t agree with them.

The re/code article (linked via the headline) ends with this:

And one footnote for the cynics: Yes, in addition to putting the spotlight on a notable trademark controversy, this also seems to be a publicity stunt. While Candy Crush Saga has consistently been the No. 1 or 2 top-grossing app on iPhones and iPads for the past 90 days, ZeptoLab’s latest game Cut the Rope 2 has fizzled since launch, peaking at around No. 28 in December and falling since then to as low as No. 358 on iPhone earlier this month.

  • Kip Beatty

    The fact is, King is correct. Trademarks are not patents, and they are not nearly as easy to abuse. Common words are regularly trademarked as part of a brand. A trademark on “Candy” as it pertains to their business, will not prevent others from using Candy, even in apps, only from coming out with similarly titled and themed apps (think of all the “flappy” games) that would quite clearly confuse the consumer. A trademark on “Best Buy” did not prevent the very similar Nor did a “Foot Locker” trademark stop “Foot Action”. Further, even once a trademark is obtained, it can be challenged, often successfully, if the application of the trademark is deemed too broad.

    • Herding_sheep

      Problem is, King IS trying to abuse the trademark. Threatening developers with even a hint of candy in their game, when the game clearly has nothing to do with Kings game or even remotely similar. For crying out loud, they even tried to challenge a game because it had “saga” in the title, a game that was about Norse mythology. These games had no passing resemblance at all to Candy Crush and the developers were in no way trying to clone their game.

      King is full of shit and they’re acting like douchebags.

      • Kip Beatty

        If they abuse it, they can loose it. I have successfully challenged a trademark myself. They need to tread carefully.

  • djr12

    On the Cut the Rope 2 side of things, I was a huge fan of the original and bought every variation. I was excited to see that 2 was coming out — until I read that it was going to be a freemium offering. I have no interest in being blackmailed into paying more and more to continue playing a game, so I passed and haven’t thought of it again until this story. I imagine there may be many people who feel the same way.

    • Kip Beatty

      Cut the Rope 2 is freemium done right. You can play through the entire game, much like the first, without paying a dime extra. It’s only to access extra items that you could choose to pay more. Don’t deprive yourself, it’s nothing like the majority of junk freemium games that are virtually unplayable without constant cash payments.

      • djr12

        Kip, thanks for the clarification — maybe I should check it out after all. What do the IAPs do for you in the game, then?

        • Kip Beatty

          There are some ribbons/badges you can’t earn without extra items like balloons that you can buy. However, the basic game play is intact at no charge. There are 5 sections with 20 levels each. I got 3 stars on all 100 levels without spending a dime on IAP.

          They also offer solutions to the puzzles as IAP, but you can find those on YouTube if you really need them.