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What King's 'candy' trademark really means

January 21, 2014Article
Polygon

When it was recently revealed that social game developer King.com filed to register the trademark for the word 'candy,' the response from fellow developers and game players was less than kind. The company, best known for making the highly successful puzzle game Candy Crush Saga and other titles in its Saga series, was accused of throwing its weight around and intimidating small developers.

King's move has raised concerns that if the company successfully trademarks 'candy,' no one will be able to use it in any of their game titles. To many, it also seems unfair that a big developer should be able to "own" a word. A candy-themed game jam even popped up in response to the trademark registration. But according to legal experts Polygon spoke to, it's more complicated than that, and there's more to it than just a word.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT ALL CANDY REFERENCES WOULD BE OFF-LIMITS.

First, it's important to note that King doesn't currently own the trademark for 'candy.' The company has filed an application for it and, at the time of writing, it is about to be published for opposition. When an application is published for opposition, there is a 30-day period where any third party can object to the registration on the grounds that it could negatively affect them. Until this process is completed, King doesn't have a legal claim to 'candy.'

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