Despite approval of its trademark application for the word ‘candy’ by the European Commission’s trademark office in early January, game developer King.com Limited expressly abandoned its application for trademark registration of the word ‘CANDY’ in connection with its blockbuster Candy Crush Saga app this past week.
King.com already owns the rights to ‘CANDY CRUSH’ and ‘CANDY CRUSHER’ in the United States, and despite having been granted preliminary approval with the USPTO, was faced with criticism for trying to monopolize a popular term after it sent out cease-and-desist letters to smaller developers based on their use of the word ‘candy’. And indeed, we previously noted that registering and enforcing a common word like ‘candy’ on its own for a wide range of goods might be difficult, if not overreaching. It’s true that King.com’s type of self-protective behavior can easily be mischaracterized by those without a strong grasp of trademark ownership and rights, but unfortunately, it’s also not surprising that a classic David versus Goliath situation would generate bad press.
Perhaps that’s why, even if its earlier actions were justifiable, it chose to withdraw its application for ‘CANDY’ with the USPTO; particularly in light of its upcoming $500 million initial public offering, generating bad will is the last thing King.com wants if it is seeking to establish and maintain excitement among its potential investors.