Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Over the last several weeks, news reports began to circulate that King.com Limited, the software developer that designed the hugely popular "Candy Crush Saga" game, had trademarked the term "CANDY" in the United States, and had begun to send cease and desist demands to developers who were using the term "candy" in connection with other, unauthorized applications.
The developer is also the creator of PetRescue Saga and the FarmHeroes Saga.
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported on the more accurate status of the matter.
Namely, the game maker had applied for a federally registered trademark for the word "CANDY" nearly a year ago, and on January 15, 2014, the application was "approved for publication" in the Official Gazette.
This status means that the public has thirty (30) days within which to file any formal oppositions to the pending trademark application.
If, after that period, no one objects (or any formally litigated opposition is unsuccessful), the application will proceed to receive a federal registration.
To protest King's trademark application, several game developers have reportedly created a "Candy Jam" protest website that encourages others to create unauthorized games themed around "candy." Extra credit may be offered to those who also use the words "scroll", "memory", "saga", "apple", or "edge".
One of the creators of the protest website reportedly told the Los Angeles Times: "Reaching a point where a company is allowed to trademark a common word is complete nonsense. You don't need to have a great understanding of the laws to understand that this is ridiculous and totally unethical."
But these protesters are legally incorrect. During the prosecution of the application, the U.S. Trademark Examiner conducted an exhaustive search and found that the word "CANDY" is not commonly nor descriptively used in connection with any other mobile digital applications.
The Examiner did find an existing trademark for "KANDY" in one of the classes of services at issue, but that conflict seems to have been resolved.
Monday, August 6, 2012
In our blog post on July 7, we declared that the "war to regulate the Internet had only just begun," despite Internet Independence Day celebrations.
On July 20, Kim Dot Com, the founder of MegaUpload who is under house arrest for illegal file sharing in New Zealand, repeated exactly that in a YouTube video.
His defense lawyers have recently filed motions in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, seeking to have the indictments dismissed on the theory that the Defendants could not have been served without a domestic agent representative. Justice Department officials scoffed at the defense's motion, and District Court Judge Liam O'Grady has taken the motion under advisement.
After search warrants issued in New Zealand were dismissed, commentators have begun to question whether the Justice Department's case against Dot Com and MegaUpload will stick.