Can some trademark applications go too far?

Most people would accept that we need trademarks and patents to protect the hard work and the imagination of some very talented business minds. But sometimes, trademark applications can highlight the very worst in us. Trademark applications based on illogical motives are too common in business. Luckily, a lot of these applications are exposed for what they are – illogical whims from greedy chancers.

A situation has occurred recently surrounding the uber-popular Candy Crush Saga game. A situation that is fast turning into farce.

Let’s start by putting the game into context. More than 500million people have installed the game, making it the most popular game app on the planet. It’s said to earn developer King around £400,000 a day in revenue.

The fuss started when King.com trademarked the word ‘candy’ in Europe. From King’s point of view, clearly they’re trying to protect their brand. But the move has angered many game developers and prompted them to join forces and mount a protest. They think King.com is being a bully. The joint protest is called Candy Jam and it even has its own website. Indeed, the results of the protest are this: more than 100 games that use the word ‘candy’ in their title have been produced so far.

King.com are yet to comment on either the protest, or the array of games blatantly ignoring their trademark ruling.

Events don’t stop there. CandySwipe creator Albert Ransom penned an open letter to King.com and aimed an angry, sarcastic swipe at their attitude to intellectual property rights. Just for your info, CandySwipe was created in 2010, some months before Candy Crush Saga.

It is worth pointing out that it’s got to the point where you have to question whether the initial move was worthwhile. The issue has now transformed into one of freedom and creativity. Plus, there’s more. In a bid to annoy King.com, the collaboration of game developers are proactively urging other developers to make and submit games that also use the word ‘saga’.

Always think through every trademark application to make sure the ends justify the means.

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