9Game: For a substance so sweet, it’s surprising how bad a taste the word CANDY has left in people’s mouths this year. And it all started in January, when it was revealed by Gamezebo that King (Candy Crush Saga) held the European trademark on the word CANDY, and was in the process of obtaining a similar mark in the US.
But now, Kotaku reports, that trademark filing has been withdrawn.
“Yesterday, King filed for abandonment of the trademark in the United States,” Kotaku’s Jason Schreier writes. “When reached by Kotaku, King confirmed the trademark abandonment but declined to comment.”
It’s a strange turn of events, but I suppose this only could have ended one of two ways: King gets their CANDY trademark and remains perceived the villain by many, or King withdraws and, reputation tarnished, spends more effort on forecasting public reaction in the future.
Still… I wonder what it was that finally pushed them over the edge. Was it the statement the IGDA released last week, calling King’s actions predatory? Or the viral and virulent response to their actions against CandySwipe earlier this month? Maybe it was just concern over how all of this bad blood could affect their upcoming IPO. Whatever the reason, it’s an unexpected move – and one you can’t help but be relieved they made.
UPDATE #1: A spokesperson for King has issued the following 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“King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher. 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.”
UPDATE #2: We reached out to the IGDA for comment, as their condemnation of King's actions seemed to be the last event in the saga before King's announcement. Here's what Kate Edwards, Executive Director of IGDA had to say:
"The IGDA is pleased to see that King has withdrawn its US application for the "Candy" trademark. We believe that this is a positive step in King adopting a more enlightened approach to their trademark policies which was reflected in recent discussions between their in-house attorneys and Tom Buscaglia, IGDA General Counsel."