Amid Bitter Backlash, Company Abandons Efforts to Trademark ‘Candy’

Author: Brian R. Westley

Faced with a sticky situation over attempts to trademark the word “candy” for a wildly popular smartphone game, King.com has withdrawn its application. King.com expressly abandoned its application in a filing Monday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The interactive entertainment company filed the “candy” application a year ago in connection with “Candy Crush Saga”—a game downloaded tens of millions of times on Facebook in which players can mix and match sweets to gain points. Although the PTO had preliminarily approved the mark, King.com was widely criticized for attempting to register “candy” and for sending cease-and-desist letters to other developers that use “candy” in the titles of games. In a letter posted last month on King.com, co-founder and CEO Riccardo Zacconi explained that his company was not trying to control the world’s use of the word “candy.” Instead, he said, the company wanted to prevent others from developing games with similar titles to unfairly capitalize on King.com’s success. The negative publicity surrounding the “candy” trademark underscores the careful approach brand owners must take in policing their marks while not overreaching and facing bad publicity. King.com still has pending trademark applications for “candy crush saga,” “candy crush,” and “candy crusher.”



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