Candy Crush dev abandons "Candy" trademark in US after controversy

Representative for King confirms company has withdrawn trademark application in the United States, but not in Europe.

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Following outcry over its decision to trademark the popular word "Candy" and cloning and theft accusations, Candy Crush developer King has withdrawn its trademark for the word. At least in the United States, that is. In Europe, King continues to hold a trademark for the word "Candy" as a means to protect its intellectual property, the company said today in a statement.

"King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher," a King representative said in a statement to GameSpot. "Each market that King operates in is different with regard to IP. We feel that having the rights to Candy Crusher is the best option for protecting Candy Crush in the U.S. market. This does not affect our E.U. trademark for Candy and we continue to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP."

Candy Crusher is the name of a game at the crux of one independent developer's angry open letter to King earlier this month. Albert Ransom, president of Candy Swipe developer Runsome Apps, said that King's acquisition of the rights to Candy Crusher in 2009 allowed the company to challenge Ransom's own trademark for Candy Swipe. Ransom maintains that King bought the Candy Crusher rights only as a means to thwart Ransom's own trademark for Candy Swipe.

King is also currently involved in a legal dispute with Stoic Studios over The Banner Saga, a game about vikings that King claims makes uses of the "Saga" name without credit. Right now, the tussle is limited to trademark opposition paperwork alone, at least for the time being.

Last week, King filed its initial public offering (IPO) statement, so it's possible that the company's abandonment of the Candy trademark today is a means to appease future investors. As part of the IPO filing, King revealed that more than 93 million people play Candy Crush Saga every day.

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