The lights are on
King.com has made headlines recently not because of the runaway success of puzzler Candy Crush Saga, but rather its aggressive trademarking of the word “candy”. The drama continues with the developer of CandySwipe, a suspiciously similar puzzle game released via Facebook two years earlier, calling out King.com in a very personal, emotional open letter.
“Two years after I released CandySwipe, you released Candy Crush Saga on mobile; the app icon, candy pieces, and even the rewarding, "Sweet!" are nearly identical,” says Albert Ransom, founder of Runsome Apps and creator of CandySwipe. “So much so, that I have hundreds of instances of actual confusion from users who think CandySwipe is Candy Crush Saga, or that CandySwipe is a Candy Crush Saga knockoff.
Ransom also provides a link to a trademark dispute with King.com, which the company initiated with intent to prevent customer confusion. His letter goes on to describe behind-the-scenes legal battles that have been going on for some time and how CandySwipe began as a labor of love in remembrance of his mother. Read the open letter in full here.
We reached out to King.com for comment on Ransom’s impassioned letter. While the company has nothing to offer at this time, a representative pointed us towards this open letter regarding its approach to intellectual property. The context of the original open letter revolves around King.com’s opposition to publisher Stoic attempting to trademark “Banner Saga” and the company's commission and publication of a clone of another developer's game.
We’ve reached out to Ransom for further comment on the matter.
Our TakeThere is evidence that CandySwipe existed before Candy Crush Saga. Stories about smaller developers burning up resources against larger publishers are sadly quite common. Hopefully King.com addresses this issue directly moving forward instead of pointing towards previous statements.