Indie Creator Of CandySwipe Fumes Over Candy Crush Saga Trademark Move

Indie Creator Of CandySwipe Fumes Over Candy Crush Saga Trademark Move

The maker of a little-known match-3 game involving candy pieces says he’s being steamrollered by the scorched-earth trademark strategy of the casual gaming powerhouse Candy Crush Saga, despite the fact his game and its name are two years older.

CandySwipe is the name of the game that Albert Ransom, of Runsome Apps, launched in 2010. Candy Crush Saga debuted in 2012. CandySwipe is a matching game involving candy pieces. So is Candy Crush Saga., maker of Candy Crush Saga, has been widely ridiculed for its trademark claims to common words like “candy” and “saga,” which it says is an effort to protect the game from blatant ripoffs. Yet Albert Ransom, the maker of CandySwipe, says Candy Crush Saga is blatantly ripping off his work.

Ransom says he filed for a trademark on CandySwipe before Candy Crush Saga even existed. When registered for a trademark on “Candy” in 2012, he opposed it on the same grounds — “likelihood of confusion” — that King now opposes the trademark application for The Banner Saga, a game utterly unlike Candy Crush Saga. Ransom and King have gone back and forth since 2013., in a message to Kotaku, notes that it is not “seeking to cancel” the trademark for CandySwipe, as the dispute has been commonly described. It’s basically just opposing CandySwipe’s unique claim to the “candy” trademark on this type of video game.

What gives the standing to do that? Well, as Ransom alleges, bought the rights to another game, called Candy Crusher in the past month. Candy Crusher dates to 2004. That acquisition would seem to put ahead of CandySwipe on the clock for a claim to the word “candy” in a video game.

That’s on the name alone. Ransom, in this open letter, points out that Candy Crush Saga‘s iconography and even its level-ending “Sweet!” message all “are nearly identical: to elements in his game.

Further animating this highly charged debate, Ransom says he created the game in memory of his mother, who died at 62 of leukemia. Her name appears after completing the Android version of the game, Ransom says.

“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,” Ransom says “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.”

If you really want to know more about this trademark foofaraw, read this.

Open Letter to []


  • Prior use is based on Tm application date. Simply buying an older game doesn’t give a new trademark an earlier date.

    • The “Candyswipe” trademark clearly has priority over the “Candy Crush Saga” mark. What King has done is acquire the trademark of an even older game, and are allegedly attempting to use it to get the Candyswipe mark cancelled (i.e. claiming that the Candyswipe mark should never have been awarded due to similarity to Candy Crusher).

      If the Candyswipe mark is cancelled, then Ransom has no grounds to object to the Candy Crush Saga mark.

      • He could possibly use the non-enforcement by the prior owner to get the older trademark either invalidated or declared non-conflicting, putting King back at square one.

        • That is certainly a possibility. It seems more likely that he’ll run out of money to pay lawyers fees before he wins against King though, as bad as depressing as that sounds.

  • Wonder if King will sue Rock* because one of the characters in Vice City is called Candy, clearly in an attempt to create brand confusion with Candy Crush in order to ride their coattails to the top…

    • And Candy was a porn star who seemed to be okay doing pretty much anything for money which is even more confusing…

      • I know! I can’t believe Rock* would muddy the waters by emulating an honest, hard working studio like King over a few measly bucks. For shame!

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!