Candy Crush developer King gets angry open letter from rival over trademark dispute

In an open letter to Candy Crush developer King.com, the developer of a game called CandySwipe derides the company for trying to revoke his trademark.

Candy Crush Saga developer King had a number of trademark issues rise to a head recently when they brought action against The Banner Saga to get them to change their game's name. Of course, The Banner Saga, an indie strategy game about Vikings, bears no resemblance to King's sugary match-3 game.

But keeping the issue front and center is Albert Ransom, the president of independent studio Runsome Apps, creator of CandySwipe. In an open letter on his website, Ransom points out the similarities between his game and Candy Crush Saga; CandySwipe was developed two years before Candy Crush Saga. Ransom also laments the fact that people confusing his game with the more popular Candy Crush has led to a slate of negative reviews.

Now, after quietly battling this trademark opposition for a year, I have learned that you now want to cancel my CandySwipe trademark so that I don't have the right to use my own game's name.

But the issue Ransom is currently fighting deals with a trademark dispute. Ransom writes, "When you attempted to register your trademark in 2012, I opposed it for 'likelihood of confusion' (which is within my legal right) given I filed for my registered trademark back in 2010 (two years before Candy Crush Saga existed). Now, after quietly battling this trademark opposition for a year, I have learned that you now want to cancel my CandySwipe trademark so that I don't have the right to use my own game's name."

Ransom alleges that King purchased the rights to a game called Candy Crusher, which allows them to challenge his own trademark containing Candy. According to the US Patent office, the Candy Crusher trademark is still held by Harrier Software, but this could be referring to a separate filing. Ransom provides a link to his own trademark opposition paperwork, which have gone back and forth with King, for the past year.

On why he's only bringing up the issue now, Ransom writes, "I have been quiet, not to exploit the situation, hoping that both sides could agree on a peaceful resolution. However, your move to buy a trademark for the sole purpose of getting away with infringing on the CandySwipe trademark and goodwill just sickens me."

Ransom opens his letter calling out King for trouncing on his livelihood by forcing him to fight for a game that was dedicated to his mother. "I created my game CandySwipe in memory of my late mother who passed away at an early age of 62 of leukemia. I released CandySwipe in 2010 five months after she passed and I made it because she always liked these sorts of games. In fact, if you beat the full version of the android game, you will still get the message saying '...the game was made in memory of my mother, Layla...'"

We've reached out to King and the CandySwipe developer for further comments. King's stance on the issue was summed up in their own open letter, where they stated, "Our policy is to protect our IP and to also respect the IP of others." Given their actions against Banner Saga developer Stoic and Ransom's studio, that statement seems slightly off.

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justinhaywald

Justin Haywald

Senior Editor, Earthbound fan, and snazzy dresser.
Candy Crusher (2009)

Candy Crusher (2009)

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81 comments
Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Who can steal a bad game

Fill it full of shit

Slap it on the app store

and rack up all the hits


The Candy Man can.

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

King is a filthy thief, and the United States intellectual property court system is a bunch of clowns.

C-THREE
C-THREE

looks like king is trying to get ea's dubious award this year.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

I hope more people stand up against this blatant trademark bullying by King or any other studio in the future. The Candy game jam was a good start.

blackothh
blackothh

and also do your part and wander over to the google play store or app store and give it a 1 star rating for their stupidity

blackothh
blackothh

they attacked banner saga? i hope some angry varl show up on your door step

jacquelineferre
jacquelineferre

The casual developers can kill each other I don't care.

Talis12
Talis12

King is scum. ~The End

Talavaj
Talavaj

If gaming portals stopped posting about mobile "games" that would be great.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@Talavaj Yes, Mobile gaming shouldn't even be considered gaming, mobile gaming is closer to gambling, actually its worse, since gambling you might win your money back, on mobile all you receive is a pontuation, and in some rare cases "thank you for p(l)aying".

ziproy
ziproy

@Talavaj  No you missed that article the other day then when Tom McShea called us bitter and hateful for saying mobile games aren't real games.

In reality they only care because without this mobile crap they would litterally have nothing to type about. Half their articles are nothing more than copying a twitter account

firehawk998
firehawk998

Someone should trademark the word KING and go after Candycrush saga devs King.com for trademark infringement that should give them a taste of their own medicine.

noandno
noandno

YES!!!!!!!!!!! KILL THIS CANDYSHIT SAGA!

pelvist
pelvist

Oculus is the latest victim of a trademark dispute with an unknown company called Oculu right now as well, Im surprised there isnt anything about that here on GS yet.

91210user
91210user

That's a dumb move! Trademarks are DEBATABLE and ever evolving! It's not copyright or a design right. It's a trademark and stuff like this gets outdated from time to time ! He shouldn't have posted that letter and it's a bad business move from the CandySwipe developer going up to... emmm a KING! That's like me going to the President and saying to leave my rotting sign alone because it's too old fashion and cannot stand up to the mainstream so I post a hostile letter to him and his army.

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@91210user  No, actually, it's quite intelligent. Just because King exists doesn't make them God. Because of the nature of money, this guy has little legal recourse but public recourse? Absolutely. If you put King in a position where hurting you hurts their public image more, then they won't do it.

dovonob
dovonob

how about you both sod off and come up with some original game ideas rather than having a bitch fight over a rubbish version of Zoo Keeper and the other million other games that came before you that did exactly the same.

wildamnesia
wildamnesia

All this candy is bad for your teeth anyway.  King are a bunch of dicks though.

sebbysebbseb
sebbysebbseb

haha next king.com will make a game and trademark the word 'birds' and threaten to sue all those flappy bird games.

Karlinel
Karlinel

@sebbysebbseb  I know from an insider that King.com are currently working in a game with a blue, fast porcupine that jumps on robots and collects rings. Seems original, gotta download it.

Saidrex
Saidrex

Good example of degradation of gaming industry. "Out of fresh ideas - copy others and copy yourself"

Aaron3691
Aaron3691

I only play mobile games whilst I'm on the shitter, candy crush does not have such an honour, it's a terrible game if you've played one you've played then all, now someone dethrone king and end this intolerable madness!!

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

@Aaron3691  

While you (and most) play these games on the can, big publishers think this is where gaming is at.

Kraken422
Kraken422

@Aaron3691  I don't take long enough on the shitter to play mobile games. Fibre bitch! :P

masterace202
masterace202

and this ladies and gentlemen is how WW2 started

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

And this is why I try to stay away from the mobile-only part of the industry...

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

Hey look! A trademark dispute with a guy called "Ransom".

Fenixx
Fenixx

It's a sad day when gaming news is about people fighting over a similar name for a crappy mini game.  Is the next big news article going to be about the leaders of Microsoft and Sony fighting over the last jug of milk at the store?

surferosh
surferosh

@Fenixx    not just in gaming but also in the world.. patent laws at the moment are really crap and pathetic


RabidBurp
RabidBurp

EA suddenly doesn't seem so bad.

Paul2004
Paul2004

"First Come, First Served" comes to mind, he has had this for years and isnt sitting on it so he deserves the trademark plus the right to rearrange Kings face. The responce was pathetic...how can you be protecting your IP when the games are different and have different names (Candy Swipe or Candy Crush Saga...) ?, just tell us how it is....we want the name for the next game !.

port_nine
port_nine

"And here is "Droid-iOSley" space port... You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy"


Seriously.. Fuck mobile games and the disgusting piles of human garbage that permeate that part of the industry.

mr_nee
mr_nee

Like this post if you play candy crush...


I thought so!

ducusss
ducusss

He's probably doing to this to gain publicity so people get curious about the game. Any publicity is good publicity.

ducusss
ducusss

@Mr_Big_Boss @ducusss  Yes, I meant King. They clearly have no grounds for their lawsuit rampage, why else would they do it but to bring attention to their game? I mean, it's working, I've never even heard of Candy Crush before all this.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

King is the new Zynga.. All these stupid app companys should be ban from making money!

Xristophoros
Xristophoros

bring these hacks to the ground! king has got to be THE worst company in the gaming industry at present. and one of the most hated one at that. not a soul among them. textbook example of a hypocrite (steal someone's idea and try to trademark the name in order to prevent other games from being mistaken for it?) would be great to see people boycott all their products. we all know that won't happen though as most of the population is too busy playing candy crush to read into stuff like this...