If you have a smart phone or a tablet or are a regular Facebook visitor, you are already aware of the incredibly popular game “Candy Crush.” By now, you have probably had several Facebook friends requesting that you send them lives or you have seen postings on your news feed apprising you of your Facebook friends’ latest “Candy Crush” conquests. Well, the developers of the game “Candy Crush” are looking to trademark the name and logo of the game, which has got many game developers riled up.
It seems this highly popular game is also popular among copycat game developers, prompting the “Candy Crush” developers to seek registration of their name and logo here in the United States. Admittedly, “Candy Crush” is a free game that can be played through your smart phone, tablet, or computer. However, this game is valuable to its developers because, although it does not charge players to download and play the game, it charges players for “extras” like additional “lives” and various “add-ons” that help players beat various levels. It has been estimated that the “Candy Crush” game takes in about $1 Million dollars per day in revenue. As a result, its developer has taken steps to protect its game from copycats and is now in the process of seeking trademark protection for its name.
Many in the gaming industry have incorrectly stated that the “Candy Crush” developers have trademarked the word “Candy.” That is simply not true. What the developers have done is apply for a trademark registration for the words “Candy Crush Saga” and the two logos used for the game, which include the stylized versions of the words “Candy Crush.” What that means is that, if these marks ultimately become registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) (which they are not yet registered), the “Candy Crush” developers may be able to prevent others from using confusingly similar names and logos for their games.
Moreover, these marks have not yet been registered with the USPTO because they have only been examined by the examining attorney and approved for publication in the Official Gazette, a weekly publication of the USPTO. By publishing the marks in the Official Gazette, the USPTO is allowing parties who believe they will be damaged by the registration of the mark to oppose the registration. It appears that several parties have filed oppositions to the registration of the “Candy Crush” developers’ marks.
At this point, it will be interesting to see the outcomes of these oppositions.