'Candy Crush Saga' Maker Trademarks 'Candy'; Apple Emails Copycats

Jan 21, 2014 03:58 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

The creators of "Candy Crush" have trademarked an extremely common word in an effort to stamp out competitors, causing some developers to worry.

British game developer King applied for the trademark for the word "candy" about a year ago and was recently granted the rights, the Los Angeles Times reported.

King now owns the word "candy" when it comes to video games and clothing, according to Forbes.

Intended to protect the wildly popular "Candy Crush Saga" video game, the trademark on such a simple word as "candy" is making some developers uneasy. Tech giant Apple is helping to reinforce the trademark, which only makes the stakes higher.

"Lots of devs are frustrated cause it seems so ridiculous," Benny Hsu, developer of a game called All Candy Casino Slots - Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land, told the blog GameZebo.

Hsu, who later clarified to Forbes that he meant that trademarking such a common word was ridiculous, received an email from Apple about having the word "candy" in a game title.

According to GameZebo, when Hsu contacted King, he received this reply from their paralegal: "Your use of CANDY SLOTS in your app icon uses our CANDY trade mark exactly, for identical goods, which amounts to trade mark infringement and is likely to lead to consumer confusion and damage to our brand. The addition of only the descriptive term 'SLOTS' does nothing to lessen the likelihood of confusion."

Forbes noted that Candy Crush is a free game that makes an estimated $1 million a day from users that get hooked enough to purchase in-game items or extra "lives."

King has said that it plans only to pursue developers who are clearly copying Candy Crush.

"We don't enforce against all uses of 'candy'--some are legitimate and of course, we would not ask app developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so," King said, according to Forbes.

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