A great little cease and desist letter has appeared on Reddit yesterday. It’s a great read, and it’s a shame the developer isn’t fighting the trademark claim.
But the lawyers are out to find any and all claims for the use of “Candy”, because the sad part is that by admitting defeat and folding, he’s conceding that there may very well be “confusion” by calling his app “All Candy Casino Slots – Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land” vs. “Candy Crush”.
Please include APP33769-C in the subject line of any future correspondence on this matter.
On 1/15/2014, we received a notice from King.com Ltd that King.com Ltd believes the app listed below infringes their intellectual property rights. In particular, King.com Ltd believes you are infringing their trademark. Please see their comments below.
C. Developer: Benjamin Hsu Provider: Benjamin Hsu App Title: All Candy Casino Slots – Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land
Comments from Complainant: We are the owners of CANDY, in the EU, US and elsewhere. The prominent use of our mark by this developer infringes our rights and is likely to lead to consumer confusion and damage to our brand. Please remove this app as soon as possible.
You can reach King.com Ltd through Sophie Hallstrom (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), copied on this email.
We look forward to receiving written assurance that your application does not infringe King.com Ltd’s rights, or that the parties are taking steps to promptly resolve the matter. Please keep us apprised of your progress.
Should you choose to remove your application, (for example, while you make any necessary changes) use the steps provided below.
Visit iTunes Connect at http://itunesconnect.apple.com
1) Access your app in the Manage Your Applications module. 2) Click on the “Rights and Pricing” button from the App Summary Page. 3) Click on the “Deselect All” button to uncheck all App Store territories. 4) Click on the “Save Changes” button.
We look forward to receiving confirmation that the matter has been resolved.
Thank you for your immediate attention.
After a polite reply stating that I didn’t think my app was confusing in anyway and there were lots of apps in the App store with candy in it as well, I got another reply.
The Lawyers Reply
Thank you for your email.
As you will know, King.com Ltd develops and produces online, social and mobile games, including the hugely successful “Candy Crush Saga” game. In addition, King owns the trade mark CANDY (CTM 011538147), which covers for example “online gaming, interactive poker, online gambling services; casino services; casino services delivered via the Internet” in class 41. Your use of CANDY SLOTS in your app icon uses our CANDY trade mark exactly, for identical goods, which amounts to trade mark infringement and is likely to lead to consumer confusion and damage to our brand. The addition of only the descriptive term “SLOTS” does nothing to lessen the likelihood of confusion. You will appreciate that we need to take action where our marks are being used without our consent, with the consequent risk of our marks becoming diluted or damaged in any way or consumers believing that the goods originate from or are otherwise endorsed or approved by us.
We understand that you might not have been aware that this was an infringement. Now that you are aware of your infringements, please amend the name of your App accordingly.
We are aware that there are many games on the app store with CANDY in the name, this is largely due to the popularity of our game Candy Crush Saga. We review each of these apps in turn and take action where necessary.
I hope this helps to answer your questions.
We reserve all rights.
Young admitting defeat & his reply
After realizing i have no choice but to change it, cause getting a lawyer would be a waste of time and money, i sent back this reply.
Dear Sophie and King.com LTD,
After much thinking about my options, I have complied with your request to remove the word CANDY from my little iPad and iPhone app originally called “All Candy Casino Slots”. I am just now waiting for the review team at Apple to approve my new version. I have been approved for an expedited review since this is a legal matter that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
In it’s short life, I apologize for any confusion my app may have caused for other people because it had the word “candy”. Maybe they wondered why it looked and played nothing like Candy Crush Saga. The app was only released for less than a week so the damage on your brand was minimal.
Clearly I meant no harm when I created the game name. Just searching the word “candy” in the App Store is like visiting Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. Candy here, candy there, candy everywhere. It’s all the candy you want, but with no calories or fat.
I certainly wouldn’t want customers to confuse my app with your ginormous popular global game. It’s so popular that the word “candy” could cause some confusion in real life too. I’m sure when little kids say “I want candy”, parents are confused if they are talking about playing Candy Crush or eating actual pieces of candy.
Just a few years ago, parents would clearly know what they wanted. How times quickly have changed.
I never thought my app would be confused with Candy Crush in the least bit. It was not my intent. I’ll place blame on my bad sweet tooth for wanting to create a candy themed game. My growing waistline is proof of that.
I did not want to mislead the 1,524 people that have downloaded my app (compared to your half a billion and counting). I can only imagine the confusion from the person in each of these countries: Jordan, Slovenia, Suriname, Lebanon, Egypt, Nepal, Algeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka, Peru, Saint Lucia, and Mongolia. Likely they were eager to play Candy Crush after seeing their grandmother request for more lives on Facebook.
I’m sure after they downloaded my game, they were very confused and wondered where the color bombs, wrapped candy, and the sweet sounding male voice saying “sweet!”, “tasty!”, and “delicious!” were. I did not mean to confuse them, but hope now they will get to have the pleasure of the words “sugar crush” stuck in their heads after downloading Candy Crush.
Just like your company, I am a person who creates games for people to enjoy. Sometimes played while on a bad first date, procrastinating from studying, bored at work, or sitting on the toilet.
I hope we can get back to the main focus, which is making games for these group of people. Therefore, no more confusing candy games from me moving forward.