CandySwipe Creator’s Letter to Candy Crush’s Developers
CandySwipe’s creator, Albert Random, created CandySwipe in 2010 and dedicated it to his deceased mother, but King, the developers of the similar Candy Crush Saga, have fought to get CandySwipe off the map.
According to CVG, Runsome Apps, founded by Albert Random, has faced the cancellation of its CandySwipe trademark, which it filed two years before Candy Crush became a household name. As we previously reported, King’s trademarking crusade against other titles bearing the words “candy,” “crush” or “saga” have led to an array of innocent games being reprimanded, such as The Banner Saga, which has zero resemblance to the game except one piece of its namesake, “saga,” a commonly-used word in fiction and entertainment.
King trademarking to eliminate similarly named titles is also a way of negating the few accusations they have faced in that King stole ideas for its titles from other, previously released indie games; getting these games off of the market will leave King’s titles on their lonesome, which means no one there to contest their authenticity. King states it has trademarked “Candy Crush Saga” so that the similar games that were released afterwards cannot leach off of King’s success. Albert Random’s CandySwipe seems to be one of these titles as well, except there’s still one major problem — CandySwipe came out two years before it.
Random has released the above picture, noting the similarities between the two titles. Recently, King has filed a counter legal action to Random’s trademarking of CandySwipe. This was doable because King originally purchased a game named Candy Crusher, an unreleased game which was purchased before CandySwipe’s release. This loophole then would negate Random’s propriety over the CandySwipe namesake due to King’s trademark.
In response to King’s legal loophole exploitation, Random has released this open letter to King:
Congratulations! You win! I created my game CandySwipe in memory of my late mother who passed away at an early age of 62 of leukemia. I released CandySwipe in 2010 five months after she passed and I made it because she always liked these sorts of games. In fact, if you beat the full version of the android game, you will still get the message saying “…the game was made in memory of my mother, Layla…” I created this game for warmhearted people like her and to help support my family, wife and two boys 10 and 4. Two years after I released CandySwipe, you released Candy Crush Saga on mobile; the app icon, candy pieces, and even the rewarding, “Sweet!” are nearly identical. So much so, that I have hundreds of instances of actual confusion from users who think CandySwipe is Candy Crush Saga, or that CandySwipe is a Candy Crush Saga knockoff. So when you attempted to register your trademark in 2012, I opposed it for “likelihood of confusion” (which is within my legal right) given I filed for my registered trademark back in 2010 (two years before Candy Crush Saga existed). Now, after quietly battling this trademark opposition for a year, I have learned that you now want to cancel my CandySwipe trademark so that I don’t have the right to use my own game’s name. You are able to do this because only within the last month you purchased the rights to a game named Candy Crusher (which is nothing like CandySwipe or even Candy Crush Saga). Good for you, you win. I hope you’re happy taking the food out of my family’s mouth when CandySwipe clearly existed well before Candy Crush Saga.
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. You have taken away the possibility of CandySwipe blossoming into what it has the potential of becoming. 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.
This also contradicts your recent quote by Riccardo in “An open letter on intellectual property” posted on your website which states, “We believe in a thriving game development community, and believe that good game developers – both small and large – have every right to protect the hard work they do and the games they create.”
I myself was only trying to protect my hard work.
I wanted to take this moment to write you this letter so that you know who I am. Because I now know exactly what you are. Congratulations on your success!
President (Founder), Runsome Apps Inc.