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- Here's something I bet you weren't expecting: Albert Ransom's trademark troubles are officially a thing of the past.Ransom, whose company Runsome Apps created CandySwipe, has been fighting King's Candy Crush Saga trademark since long before "candygate" became a buzzword. And when King applied for the US trademark on the word CANDY, Ransom swore he'd fight that too.King fired a returning shot by purchasing the trademark rights to Candy Crusher, a 2004 game, and using those older rights to try and have Ransom's mark on CandySwipe revoked.In a word, things were getting ugly.But as of today, that ugliness is a thing of the past. Ransom has informed Gamezebo that he and King have "amicably resolved" their dispute. He has withdrawn his opposition against the Candy Crush Saga mark, and in turn King has withdrawn their counterclaim against CandySwipe. "Both our games can continue to coexist without confusing players," reads an official statement on candyswipe.com.
- After last week's debacle involving game developer King trademarking the word CANDY, game developers around the world vented their frustrations by participating in the Candy Jam, a game jam event designed solely to passive-aggressively taunt the trademark system as well as King's other embarrassment from last week, being accused of ripping off another developer's game. The Candy Jam website sets its mantra as: "Because trademarking common words is ridiculous, because ethics matter and because it gives us an occasion to make another game jam."Developers have since been working on creating their games, and uploading them to the Candy Jam website for others to check out. While the Candy Jam lasts through February 3rd, there are a good number of games already posted.One of the more polished games posted is Discord Games' Candy Chasm Saga, an endless-faller that involves falling down an chasm filled with candy, attempting to collect as much candy as possible while avoiding crashing into the scary-looking tokens floating about. Magnets are available to scoop up and make your candy-grabbing life easier, and golden apples provide limited invincibility. Candy Chasm Saga borrows art assets from Discord Games' full-time project, Chasm.
- Albert Ransom, the founder of Runsome Apps, first released CandySwipe to Android gamers on November 15, 2010 - a full four months before King debuted Candy Crush on King.com (now RoyalGames.com). Both games offer match-3 gameplay and both are built around a candy theme, but in our conversation with Ransom, he wasn't crying "clone." He's just worried about the same thing King is: consumer confusion."If you start typing 'is candy swip' into google, you will get the auto complete 'is candy swipe the same as candy crush'." It's a frustrating experience for a developer whose work came first and who, like King, was quick to trademark. The CANDYSWIPE trademark was granted to Ransom in July 2011.But being first and having a mark isn't going to do much to sway public perception - especially when a similar competitor shoots to the top of the App Store."Their game (and name) closely resembles CandySwipe; so much so, that CandySwipe is often ridiculed as a Candy Crush knock off," says Ransom. "This infringes on OUR registered trademark and good will."
- If there's one word that's on the tip of everybody's tongues this week, it's CANDY. King trademarked the word in the EU and is trying to do the same in the US, and the internet has exploded as a result.If you've ever wanted to see what an exploded internet looks like, you need look no further than Twitter. The community has been quite vocal about King's trademarking actions this week - many even going so far as to add CANDY to their Twitter name in protest - and the @#$torm hasn't died down yet.It's been only two days since King's maneuvers first came to light (and one day since we learned about their opposition to The Banner Saga's trademark). Here's the best of what the internet has had to say about it:
- If there's one word I'd use to describe independent game developers, it's… well, independent. They don't like being told what they can't do. So what a big company like King comes along and trademarks a word like 'candy,' indie game devs get understandably grumpy.In response to King's actions (which Gamezebo broke the news about on Monday), Cariboo (developer of the upcoming Berserkgangr) and uuav (check out their Ludum Dare entries here) have just launched Candy Jam, a game jam that tasks developers with making a game that involves candies. Why? "Because trademarking common names is ridiculous and it gives us an occasion to make another gamejam :D," or so says the Jam's Tumblr account.Interested developers must submit their games before the February 3 deadline. The only rules are that it has to have candy, and that you should consider using the word 'candy' several times. Bonus points for other trademark problem words like 'scroll,' 'memory,' 'saga,' and 'apple.'Also, there's always a high five from me if you get the word 'Gamezebo' or 'jimmycanuck' in there somewhere. ;)
- On Monday morning, Gamezebo broke news of a story too strange to be believed. King, the makers of Candy Crush Saga, had trademarked the word CANDY. While this won't affect the likes of Skittles or SweeTarts, app developers whose games have 'candy' in their name braced for the oncoming storm.But according to a King spokesperson, that storm may not really be coming."We have trademarked the word 'CANDY' in the EU, as our IP is constantly being infringed and we have to enforce our rights and to protect our players from confusion. We don't enforce against all uses of CANDY - some are legitimate and of course, we would not ask App developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so."