Update: It appears that King and Albert Ransom have settled their trademark dispute. The below statement has appeared on Ransom's website:
“I am happy to announce that I have amicably resolved my dispute with King over my CandySwipe trademark and that I am withdrawing my opposition to their mark and they are withdrawing their counterclaim against mine. I have learned that they picked the Candy Crush name before I released my game and that they were never trying to take my game away. Both our games can continue to coexist without confusing players.”
Original Story: Developer King, who sits on a golden throne created by the endless cash fountain that is Candy Crush Saga, are big meanies. The bully tactics it's using to oppress its fellow indie developer seems hard to justify. From trademarking the name Candy and asking other developers using the name to re-brand, to even launching legal action against a medieval PC turn-based strategy RPG called The Banner Saga (coming to iPad shortly) for daring to use the word Saga, the studio is rapidly becoming the most despised company in gaming.
It's working though - we reported recently that Wayward Saga changed its name to Wayward Souls, presumably because developer Rocketcat Games didn't want to bring on the hate.
The latest twist is particularly intriguing. Indie developer Albert Ransom has revealed he had already launched legal action on King prior to this latest uproar, claiming Candy Crush Saga clearly rips-off his game, CandySwipe, which proceeds King's hit by two years. He penned this open letter to the Net:
“Congratulations! You win. I created my game CandySwipe in memory of my late mother who passed away at an early age of 62 of leukemia. I released CandySwipe in 2010 five months after she passed and I made it because she always liked these sorts of games.
Two years after I released CandySwipe, you released Candy Crush Saga on mobile; 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.
So when you attempted to register your trademark in 2012, I opposed it for ‘likelihood of confusion’ (which is within my legal right) given I filed for my registered trademark back in 2010. Now, 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.
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.
I have spent over three years working on this game as an independent app developer. I learned how to code on my own after my mother passed and CandySwipe was my first and most successful game; it's my livelihood, and you are now attempting to take that away from me.”
We're not sure what CandySwipe's future is, but feel free to support Albert by grabbing the game here.