Candy Crush and CandySwipe Settle Their Dispute - Update

Candy Crush and CandySwipe Settle Their Dispute - Update

CandySwipe

The maker of CandySwipe has announced that he has "amicably resolved" his trademark dispute with Candy Crush Saga studio King.

Update: Stoic, the maker of The Banner Saga, has also settled its dispute with King, and actually did so ahead of the CandySwipe settlement. In a statement released late last month, the studio said, "Stoic is pleased to have come to an agreement with King regarding Stoic's The Banner Saga trademark, which enables both parties to protect their respective trademarks now and in the future."

Original Story: King hasn't exactly employed a light and discretionary touch in the defense of its Candy Crush Saga trademark, but even in that less-than-flattering light its handling of CandySwipe maker Albert Ransom was equal parts brazen and nasty. Ransom's trademark on CandySwipe preceded King's claim on Candy Crush Saga, and because his game was demonstrably suffering from confusion with King's (and perhaps inspired by King's own readiness to file infringement claims), he took action to defend his mark.

King's response was both ruthless and ingenious: It acquired the rights to CandyCrusher, a game that predates CandySwipe, and then used the ownership of that game to argue that Ransom should lose his trademark. Unable to compete with King's multi-million-dollar war chest, Ransom gave in, although he did not go quietly, and his open letter to the studio only darkened its already bruised reputation.

But now it seems as though he's managed to work out some kind of happy ending, or at least one he can live with. "I am happy to announce that I have amicably resolved my dispute with King over my CandySwipe trademark and that I am withdrawing my opposition to their mark and they are withdrawing their counterclaim against mine," Ransom wrote in a statement posted on CandySwipe.com.

"I have learned that they picked the CANDY CRUSH name before I released my game and that they were never trying to take my game away," the statement says. "Both our games can continue to coexist without confusing players."

Ransom had recently launched a Kickstarter for CandySwipe 3.0 but pulled the plug on it last week; the update explaining the cancellation is for backers only but according to Gamezebo, it was done "in good faith" as he tried to reach a settlement with King. And while it sounds like all of this sound and fury has resulted in nothing more than headaches and a return to the status quo, at least Ransom gets to maintain his trademark - and hopefully he'll reap some benefits from the publicity surrounding the case, too.

Source: CandySwipe

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Thank goodness that's settled. Now I can get back to hating King and everything they do, all the while laughing at every misfortune they encounter. See you in hell, King!

You know what social/ touch gaming is? It's utterly pathetic. The fact that major gaming companies like King have to have such a bum fight for the territory of the tired, limp match 3 genre is really sad. A company of that size and not a single original thought.

The whole Scamper-Ghost/ Pac-Avoid clone debacle was also pitiful; you're fighting companies out of spite for a Pac man clone? That you then decided to spite because they didn't want to do business with you, instructed someone to literally directly copy their game and instruct them to call it Pac-Avoid? This would have been embarrassing in the SNES days. King.com is a company that has floated it's self on the stock market but is so inept at making games it has to scramble for flash-based Pac Man clones. Have some fucking dignity mobile industry. This is why we sit back and laugh at your feeble attempts to be taken seriously. All the money in the world won't change that your company made a game called "Pac-Avoid" and even then it was produced by a third party that was motivated by desperation and a direct lift of another pac-man clone.

If i ever met a higher up King.com employee i would laugh in their stupid little face for being part of an organization that was beyond a joke. I don't know how they can't spontaneously die of shame.

Scrumpmonkey:

If i ever met a higher up King.com employee I would laugh in their stupid little face for being part of an organization that was beyond a joke. I don't know how they can't spontaneously die of shame.

Funny thing for me is the Technical Director of the company I work for left last year to work for a social mobiles company as a senior director. Just last week I found out that it was in fact King.com , and whilst I really liked the guy, and presume that other employee's at King must be decent people too, I can't help but lose most of my respect that I had for him. Even though he won't be making business decisions, I would presume he would know of the company's ethics ad chose to work for them anyway, which to me is just sad.

Talaris:

Scrumpmonkey:

If i ever met a higher up King.com employee I would laugh in their stupid little face for being part of an organization that was beyond a joke. I don't know how they can't spontaneously die of shame.

Funny thing for me is the Technical Director of the company I work for left last year to work for a social mobiles company as a senior director. Just last week I found out that it was in fact King.com , and whilst I really liked the guy, and presume that other employee's at King must be decent people too, I can't help but lose most of my respect that I had for him. Even though he won't be making business decisions, I would presume he would know of the company's ethics ad chose to work for them anyway, which to me is just sad.

I know Engineers who have left physical goods jobs or manufacturing jobs because they didn't feel like the things they were being told to do and what they were being told to sell was ethical. That's just manufacturing which isn't a creative industry, people still have a sense of pride and ethics within their work.

Gaming is such an exciting, growing industry. Why wouldn't you want to be part of something you could at least be proud of? I know games development is just a job and a LOT of people get exploited because they are told they are "lucky to be working in games" but companies like King are part of this problem. They are utterly parasitic and ultimately eat themselves and take whole chunks of the industry with them. In a job where you could potentially be celebrated as an artist, someone who has contributed to the world in a positive way and really touched and enhanced the lives of strangers, why would you go to a place or remain in a place where you have to fight for 50th hand scraps of 30 year old ideas?

People strike out on their own from secure jobs all the time. It takes balls. It takes sacrifice. You might well fail. But ultimately in this new era of gaming you could build something of your own, ven become an auteur or at the very least be a small part of something you can one day feel proud of. Lets take a look at someone who recently got called just a 'pretty face' by a Pepsi Brand representative and full time scum bag. Adriel Wallick left a job programming and calibrating satellites for NASA in order to become a creatively free independent games developer. She is pretty awesome. I don't know how you can look at people like that from within a place like King or EA Mythic or Zynga and not feel that you are disrespecting the very idea of creative design. That you are squandering the promise of those pioneers of gaming.

Is this really what you got into game design for? Everyone over at King can't be a pure packaged goods minded empty suit who has no love or respect for gaming. There must be some people with a conscience and ambition and a spark.

Why do I get the feeling he had to say that line in the last paragraph as part of the settlement. Didn't King file their original Candy Crush trademark a year after his game's trademark? They might have started working on it long before that, but that doesn't mean they can say they own all rights until they file. Plenty of inventors have filed for a patent to find a week before an extremely similar device was just patented. There's also scandals and corruption in that subject, too, but that's going off topic.

At least it's over. Maybe Ransom is armed with some more legal knowledge to take preventative actions and defend his next IP when the next slimy company spots its next victim.

Hairless Mammoth:
Why do I get the feeling he had to say that line in the last paragraph as part of the settlement.

We'll probably never know. Settlements like this typically include gag orders all around, so everyone can say they're happy with the outcome but nobody can say why. This case is somewhat unique, since Ransom had already thrown in the towel, which could lead one to think that the whole thing is a PR exercise for King; but even if that's the case, hopefully it is a better outcome for Ransom than what he was looking at last month, and that his happiness with the settlement isn't entirely forced.

 

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