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Devs: We'll bury Candy Crush King under HEAPS of candy apps

Indie game-makers protest against CANDY trademark

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Independent game-makers are hoping to inundate Apple's App Store with "candy" games in a demonstration against Candy Crush Saga-maker King for its trademark of the word CANDY.

In a rather pointed protest, the developers have launched a game jam to try to get as many app-makers as possible to come up with games using candy, with the word CANDY in the title - with bonus points for using words like SAGA and APPLE.

The "Candy Jam" says it is mounting the protest against King "because trademarking common words is ridiculous, because ethics matter and because it gives us an occasion to make another game jam", according to its website.

The jam has had 113 games submitted so far, with titles like Super Candy Handy Mandy Saga and The Candy Apple Crusher Saga.

King's trademark of the word CANDY in Europe and its pursuit of the same trademark in the US and trademarks on SAGA have been met with outrage and derision. One of the first developers to feel King's wrath was Benny Hsu, whose game All Candy Casino Slots - Jewels Craze Connect: Big Blast Mania Land was listed in the App Store as Candy Slots.

Although the app had only been out for around a week and Hsu insists gameplay is different, it was pulled off the store when King complained about the name. King claimed that Hsu was intentionally stepping on its toes.

"We don't enforce against all uses of CANDY - some are legitimate and of course, we would not ask app developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so," the firm said last week.

"We believe this app name was a calculated attempt to use other companies' intellectual property to enhance its own games through means such as search rankings."

But Hsu told The Reg that he had never wanted there to be any confusion.

"My intent was not to infringe their intellectual property," he said. "Candy is something we have all loved since we were children. I just wanted to create a game with a fun theme.

"If anyone saw my icon or played my game, they would know that there was nothing in it that tried to copy Candy Crush. Also there are so many games in the App Store that have a candy theme. Candy Crush was not the first candy-themed game to be created and it won't be the last. So I don't understand why they feel like they own the word CANDY."

Candy Jam's website said it wasn't just protesting about King's actions towards Benny Hsu and the makers of The Banner Saga, but also against King as a company for allegedly copying other games.

The site points out that Candy Crush Saga has a lot in common with Bejewelled and Bubble Witch Saga, which is a type of bubble-bursting game similar to Bust-A-Move.

"The Candy Jam is a protest against both the system and those abusing it: King," the site said.

We have contacted King for comment, but it did not respond. We'll update if we hear more. ®

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