King: We Don't Want Everyone's Candy, Just IP Infringers'

King: We Don't Want Everyone's Candy, Just IP Infringers'

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It's all about the Apple store.

Candy Crush, King's powerhouse puzzler, caused an uproar when it went after Candy Casino Slots, alleging IP infringement. How could anyone think Candy was something that could be trademarked, said the internet; King must be overreaching. No, says King, and anyway, we want Candy in the EU because, without it, IP infringers run rampant.

It's all about the Apple store, which is where King - with its boatload of customers - makes a lot of its money. Something like Candy Casino Slots - Jewel Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land might not look much like Candy Crush Saga at first glance, but on the App store its icon just reads Candy Slots. If you don't know any better and search for Candy in hope of finding Crush, Candy Slots might fool you into thinking you'd found King's product.

"As well as infringing our and other developer's IP, use of keywords like this as an App name is also a clear breach of Apple's terms of use," says King. "We believe this App name was a a calculated attempt to use other companies' IP to enhance its own games, through means such as search rankings."

King doesn't want to enforce its trademark against all forms of Candy. "Some are legitimate and of course, we would not ask App developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so." But when King thinks Candy's just treading on its IP for the sake of a sweet spot in the search ranking, out come King's lawyers.

Source: Gi.biz

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What a tautology! They are the ones defining their IP through the trademarking in the first place. If they want to avoid IP infringement, they should stop marking such a wide range of content as their "IP".

One of the most disingenous things about trademark, patent, and copyright apologists is their usage of "intellectual property", to give the impression that it refers to an objectively pre-existing set of possessed materials, that they need to prevent from "being taken away from them", as opposed to an arbitrary bundle of controls that they are always trying to expand at the expense of others.

Everything from the shrinking Fair Use and Public Domain, the war on second-hand sales, the innovation-killing patent excesses, and the trademaking of generic words, all is rhetorically justified with this one false presentation that their monopoly somehow NEEDS to be as wide as it benefits them the most, or otherwise something is "taken" from them.

This is more than a tad ironic, considering how Candy Crush essentially isn't much more than a tweaked and monetized Bejeweled. One game lets you match three objects horizontally and vertically without constraints, the other adds additional requirements and ups the difficulty - all for the sake of being able to monetize extra lives or boosters.

One is honest, the other one feels like a shameless cash grab. Take a guess at which is which.

I wonder what http://candyking.com would have to say about this..

Karloff:
If you don't know any better and search for Candy in hope of finding Crush, Candy Slots might fool you into thinking you'd found King's product.

Maybe if you're completely and woefully retarded, then again people have done dumber so I may be full of shit here.

Either way seems like shameless IP trolling, using "candy" as a means of appearing more child-friendly and accessible is a fairly common trick used far before Candy Crush was even a thing.

IamLEAM1983:
This is more than a tad ironic, considering how Candy Crush essentially isn't much more than a tweaked and monetized Bejeweled. One game lets you match three objects horizontally and vertically without constraints, the other adds additional requirements and ups the difficulty - all for the sake of being able to monetize extra lives or boosters.

One is honest, the other one feels like a shameless cash grab. Take a guess at which is which.

Thinking the same thing.

Though can they really make a claim to these games if they only just tried to trademark it and the games already exist?

Isn't this game infringing on the likes of Bejeweled?

kanetsb:
Isn't this game infringing on the likes of Bejeweled?

The only thing that's saving King from infringement notices is the fact that Candy Crush is unabashedly freemium. Its engine designs more challenging level layouts, the difficulty's artificially inflated with the reliance on boosters, and all that shifts the optimal play strategy away from simply racking up the biggest score to accomplishing random tasks within each level. Stuff like clearing gelatin tiles or making fruits fall to the bottom of the grid - which isn't always a straight square.

It's Bejeweled, but with just enough tweaks and money-gouging features so King can safely claim they're doing their own thing. Past that, King copies itself whole-hog and keeps releasing new Saga titles that aren't much more than Candy Crush's formula with a different set of cutesy-poo visuals.

Uh... huh.

How does "Crush" = "Slots" again? They only share one letter. I don't think people are going to mistake one for the other at any point. "Candy Crush" is alliterative and invokes a specific mental image... "Candy Slots" is not, and invokes a very different image.

Also haven't we been told time and again the only way to hold on to a trademark is to sue all instances of it's use not by you or risk loosing it?

Hoplon:
Also haven't we been told time and again the only way to hold on to a trademark is to sue all instances of it's use not by you or risk loosing it?

We have been told. By random people who know jack-all about trademark law.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet

Alterego-X:

Hoplon:
Also haven't we been told time and again the only way to hold on to a trademark is to sue all instances of it's use not by you or risk loosing it?

We have been told. By random people who know jack-all about trademark law.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/trademark-law-does-not-require-companies-tirelessly-censor-internet

Oh so every time a company sues out of hand for something that is not trying to hurt or impinge on their business it's just because they are arse holes! good to know, thank you.

Someone should make a game about Space Candy Marines...

thaluikhain:
Someone should make a game about Space Candy Marines...

...that's actually not a bad idea. It'd be like Halo or Gears of War, but with a Candy Land motif. I don't typically like games like that, but if somebody made Space Candy Marines a thing, I'd totally plunk down money on a Kickstarter or on Steam for that. It'd be a hilarious parody as you gun down the Elite Vegetable Guard with your Lollipop Plasma Rifle.

But to get back on topic, as I said in the Facebook comment for the first story on it, what is it with these companies with one hit game throwing their weight around like that? First you had Zynga and their Ville games, then Rovio with Angry Birds, and now this crap with Candy Crush. And plus, as many people have said, it's just Bejeweled but with just enough changed that it can call itself "original". If I want to play Bejeweled, I have Bejeweled 2, 3, and Blitz on my PC, and I have Blitz on my tablet.

thaluikhain:
Someone should make a game about Space Candy Marines...

Maybe Games Workshop can do it, since they need a new source of revenue and already own the trademarks on 'space' and 'marine'.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/131450-Games-Workshop-Stock-Plummets-By-24-Percent

:)

Chances are that in a few years we'll have comparable stories to that "edge"-guy's copyright trolling. Just with candy.

Besides the obvious difference in names, how can you trademark something that's been in use for far longer than your game exists? In patent law you are denied the patent if there's prior art. How is it that trademark law doesn't have this? Or is it there and this judge just willfully ignored it?

It's like when Apple sued Samsung because the shape of one of their phones was too similar. I said it then and I'll say it again: If you're about to spend 500 on a phone you probably won't just go by the picture on the box.

Alexander Kirby:
It's like when Apple sued Samsung because the shape of one of their phones was too similar. I said it then and I'll say it again: If you're about to spend 500 on a phone you probably won't just go by the picture on the box.

One of the only legitimate complaints on both sides was the "pinch to zoom" functionality, which appears to have been a copy/paste job. Other than that the entire affair was two companies trolling each other wasting court time.

Fun fact about software patent law: you can only protect the code itself and not the idea for the code. All those patents you see that are just diagrams about how the code will work if they make it are illegal AS HELL. Patent courts just have a long and storied history of not knowing what the hell they're doing when it comes to software.

there is some good irony here in a simplistic 1 in a million match 3 puzzler trying to protect it's ip when the only really original part of said ip is the format of the microtransactions. bejeweled, puzzle quest, there's a million of these things, the part of candy crush that separates it from the herd is it's f2p model that monetizes it's play time. that is something you could potentially sue for. but just the name? candy and crush are neither of them unique enough to stake a claim on. and if they want to go after someone for the gameplay the company could just as easily say they were ripping off bejeweled. still illegal but unless the company who makes bejeweled has a problem with it and makes it legal candy crush can sue them all day and get nowhere right? but yeah, real funny that they of all people want to protect their unoriginal ip.

They can claim they're targeting infringes only, but it really seems like they just don't want anyone to have games that can start with the word "Candy". "Candy Crush" is certainly their trademark, but "Candy", I postulate, is simply just too damn general.

thaluikhain:
Someone should make a game about Space Candy Marines...

What about:

John Candy: Space Marine

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Hell. It's about time.

shiajun:
Besides the obvious difference in names, how can you trademark something that's been in use for far longer than your game exists? In patent law you are denied the patent if there's prior art. How is it that trademark law doesn't have this? Or is it there and this judge just willfully ignored it?

Patents and copyrights protect creation. Trademark protects recognizeable image.

Same as why "Apple" or "Windows" or "Google" or "Amazon" can be trademarked. Even if these words have existed before, they can be trademarked because otherwise anyone could just deceptively pretend to be them.

Trademark isn't about protecting creative work, it's about protecting consumers' informed choice by guaranteeing that sellers get to accurately represent their brand with words that has already been associated with them.

In trademark, the limit is generalization. You can't trademark "Apple" for selling apples, or "Windows" as a brand of windows, and then force others to call their windows something else, because in that field, the trademark was never understood to imply branding. Likewise, the Candy trademark doesn't extend to actual candy manufacturers.

MCerberus:
One of the only legitimate complaints on both sides was the "pinch to zoom" functionality, which appears to have been a copy/paste job. Other than that the entire affair was two companies trolling each other wasting court time.

Fun fact about software patent law: you can only protect the code itself and not the idea for the code. All those patents you see that are just diagrams about how the code will work if they make it are illegal AS HELL. Patent courts just have a long and storied history of not knowing what the hell they're doing when it comes to software.

The problem with precedent and case law is that precedent and case law determine what law is. If courts fuck up, the product of their fuck up is now the precedent.

Alterego-X:
In trademark, the limit is generalization.

Even under the assumptions you present for the purpose of trademark law, "it's also a video game" is well past the limit of generalization.

We see you trollin', we hatin'.

I'd boycott this game, but I'm already not playing it. I remember trying it on a phone & getting bored in 5 minutes.

Are we still pretending that US copyright law is anything other then a collection of stinking bullshit created mostly for huge corporations to abuse smaller ones?

Why?

I'm not saying Copyright laws in general are bad, the US ones just seem to be primarily created to be as obstructive and easy to abuse as possible.

You know, the 'Well, they start with Candy, we start with Candy, people are totally going to get us confused so we're gonnaclaim copyright because fuck you' is a bit of a bullshit argument - that's like saying Blizzard has a successful case against the creators of Starbound because it shares 'Star' with Starcraft, or how the creators of Space Invaders could totally sue pretty much anybody who used 'Space' in their title.

It's... well, it's fucking stupid, and it shows the image that you think your customers are fucking stupid. Then again, considering this is business and copyright law we're talking about...

 

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