Is the USPTO evil or just incompetent?
Yesterday, news broke of yet more punishment for software developers from the clowns known as the USPTO.
Not satisfied with rubber stamping any overly broad software patent that lands on their collective desks, they’ve turned their all-seeing eye towards the English dictionary.
King, the makers of the blatant Bejewelled clone that shamelessly stole the Candy Land theme, have scored a trademark on the word “candy” for their game “Candy Crush Saga”.
Enthused by their win, King have already started handing out legal threats to small developers.
They are even targeting games that don’t have anything to do with being a Bejewelled rip-off like Candy Crush. All that seems to matter is that the target can’t really afford the time and/or money required to defend this nonsense trademark.
I’m not directly affected by this issue because I don’t have a game with the word “candy” in the name.
I do have a candy themed game though, and it’s called Chocolate Puzzle Crazy.
How long until a corporation claims ownership of the word “chocolate”? There’s only so many synonyms for “candy” in the English language.
Will this disease spread to more forms of media than just games? Will a corporation claim ownership of the word “spy” or “war” for books and moves?
Edit: I just signed this petition. I have no idea if it will have any kind of effect. Those of us outside the US have little recourse besides spreading the word. It’s up to Americans to force their government to change… *sigh*