While a lot of individual developers have voiced concerns about King’s trademark filings (as first reported by Gamezebo back in January), there hasn’t been an official, collective show of opposition to what’s transpired – at least not until right now.
The International Game Developer’s Association has just released the following statement from Executive Director Kate Edwards and their Board of Directors, regarding their stance on King’s actions around protecting their IP with trademark law;
“As an advocacy organization for game developers, the IGDA diligently monitors issues that may restrict a developer’s ability to create and distribute his or her work. After reviewing the Trademark filing and subsequent conduct by King Inc. in relation to its popular game, ‘Candy Crush Saga,’ we feel we should comment.
While we understand and respect the appropriate exercise of Trademark rights, King’s overreaching filing in its application for the Trademark for its game “Candy Crush Saga,” and its predatory efforts to apply that mark to each separate word contained in that name, are in opposition to the values of openness and cooperation we support industry wide, and directly contradict the statement King’s CEO, Riccardo Zacconi, made on January 27th (http://about.king.com/about/our-approach-to-ip). Our Business and Legal Special Interest Group will be providing a more comprehensive analysis of this issue from its perspective soon.”
The statement couldn’t come at a worse time for King – the company has just this morning filed the registration paperwork for their long-anticipated IPO.
The most recent turn of events in King’s trademark saga involved their counterclaim against Albert Ransom, a developer that Gamezebo interviewed back in January. Ransom had been fighting King’s trademarks on the grounds that they infringe on his own registered mark for the game CandySwipe. Last week it was revealed that King had purchased the rights to an earlier trademark, and are using it to argue with the US Patent and Trade Office that Ransom’s mark should be cancelled.