Candry Crush Saga publisher King’s recent, controversial trademarks have reportedly negatively impacted the developer of CandySwipe, which predates the popular casual competitor.
In an open letter published on the CandySwipe website, Runsome Apps founder Albert Ransom said that CandySwipe was trademarked in 2010, two years before Candy Crush Saga released, and hinted that King may have ripped off the earlier game.
“The app icon, candy pieces, and even the rewarding, ‘Sweet!’ are nearly identical. So much so, that I have hundreds of instances of actual confusion from users who think CandySwipe is Candy Crush Saga, or that CandySwipe is a Candy Crush Saga knockoff,” he wrote.
Ransom said he opposed King’s 2012 attempt to trademark its title due to “likelihood of confusion”, and has continued to fight, but has hit a wall.
“After quietly battling this trademark opposition for a year, I have learned that you now want to cancel my CandySwipe trademark so that I don’t have the right to use my own game’s name,” he said.
“You are able to do this because only within the last month you purchased the rights to a game named Candy Crusher (which is nothing like CandySwipe or even Candy Crush Saga). Good for you, you win. I hope you’re happy taking the food out of my family’s mouth when CandySwipe clearly existed well before Candy Crush Saga.”
Ransom created the app as a tribute to his late mother, who enjoyed similar style games, and spent three years working on it.
“CandySwipe was my first and most successful game; it’s my livelihood, and you are now attempting to take that away from me,” he said.
“You have taken away the possibility of CandySwipe blossoming into what it has the potential of becoming. I have been quiet, not to exploit the situation, hoping that both sides could agree on a peaceful resolution. However, your move to buy a trademark for the sole purpose of getting away with infringing on the CandySwipe trademark and goodwill just sickens me.”
King recently began enforcing trademark claims on Candy and Saga. Despite its protestations of innocence, it seems to be applying its legal weight somewhat indiscriminately, even striking The Banner Saga, which has a far greater lexical claim to the word saga.
The development community has reacted with disgust, with one indie coming forward to point out the hypocrisy of King’s claims to defending intellectual property given its alleged ripping off of other games. Still, at least we got CandyJam out of it.