February 26, 2014

Candy Crushed: A Reminder to (Sugar) Rush to Get Trademark Protection

by kevinhartley


There is a candy dish that tempts me everyday. It sits in a well-traveled hallway not too far from my office. It doesn't just tempt me. It tempts everyone at Stites & Harbison and Nashville. And it is popular. Surprising, right? Candy is popular.

[caption id="attachment_1563" align="aligncenter" width="300"]

Candy Jar
The bane of my existence.[/caption]

For a long time, I thought candy was popular based mainly on its sugary properties. Recently, I discovered that virtual candy may be as popular (and certainly as addictive) as real candy. Indeed, you may have heard of the Candy Crush Saga, a game that is responsible for countless lost billable hours.

King, the company behind the Candy Crush Saga, recently made headlines for its efforts to trademark the word "candy." Because candy is such a common part of the lexicon, King's attempt was met with backlash from the gaming world, which saw its effort to trademark the lone word "candy" as a bully tactic and an affront to the openness associated with game development.

This week, King decided to abandon its efforts to trademark "candy." It is unclear why King chose to do so. Many speculate that King realized the difficulty it would have enforcing the trademark due to its generic nature. Bill has tackled that subject before (here and here).

While King has built a successful brand with the Candy Crush Saga, this is another reminder of the importance of choosing a brand name with trademark protection in mind and seeking protection early in the brand-building process. If King had sought protection before its game became a phenomenon, others in the industry may not have seen its attempt to trademark "candy" as a bully tactic. Likewise, if King had chosen a more distinct name, it may have avoided negative press or been able to receive additional trademark protection for its popular brand.

The lawyers at Trademarkology provide online trademark registration services backed by the experience and service of one of the nation's oldest law firms. Click here to begin the process of protecting your brand name with a federally registered trademark.