We have written previously about the trademark dispute in the US between King.com Limited and Runsome Apps Inc., the creators of the mobile/social media/web games “Candy Crush Saga” and “CandySwipe,” respectively. It appears that the year-long battle between the two developers has ended.
On April 16, 2014, Albert Ransom posted this statement on the Candyswipe.com 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.”
Thereafter, on April 25, Runsome Apps filed a Stipulated Dismissal of Opposition and Counterclaim and the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board dismissed the opposition and counterclaim “with prejudice” several days later.
Note that Ransom’s public concession that the “CandySwipe” name can “co-exist” with the “Candy Crush Saga” name, along with the dismissal of its Opposition “with prejudice,” means that the odds of Runsome Apps’s successfully suing King.com in the future do not look too sweet.
Additionally, under US federal trademark law, the co-existence of two “CANDY” variant trademarks for similar goods both in the marketplace and on the Principal Register of the US Patent and Trademark Office has the potential to weaken the strength of both of these “CANDY” marks. It could make it harder for either King.com or Runsome Apps to sue any future game developers entering the mobile/social media/web application marketplace using “candy” in their names.
The exact terms of settlement, as well as the details surrounding the parties’ resolution of the dispute, are not publicly available. The “CandySwipe 3.0” Kickstarter campaign started by Ransom during the pendency of the dispute was cancelled on April 10, and based on Ransom’s comments on Candyswipe.com, it appears that both games will continue to co-exist for as long as consumers are willing to play them.
This article was prepared by Justin Haddock (firstname.lastname@example.org / +1 512 536 3024) is a lawyer in Norton Rose Fulbright’s Austin intellectual property practice.