High Court of Bombay recognises King's IP rights in Candy Crush Saga

India

In King.com Limited v Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited (Notice of Motion (L) No 1353 of 2014 in Suit No 499 of 2014), in an ex parte ad interim order and decree passed with regard to the consent terms entered into between the parties, the High Court of Bombay has recognised King.com Limited’s rights in the trademarks and copyright arising from its famous game Candy Crush Saga, and restrained Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Limited from using the said trademarks and copyright material.

King’s marks/images:                             

Apeejay/organiser’s event material:

The dispute arose in or about June 2014, when King became aware of a musical event entitled ‘Candy Crush’ to be held in Apeejay’s Park Hotel. The event material (depicted above) used, among other things, the marks CANDY CRUSH and the Candy Crush Saga’s app icon (depicted below), as well as various other artistic copyright works/images from the game.

Further, online advertisements for the event also attempted to show a connection with the Candy Crush Saga game.

King sought and obtained ex parte ad interim relief against Apeejay. The court had no hesitation in passing the order, recognising King’s exclusive rights in, among other things, the CANDY CRUSH mark and the Candy Crush Saga’s app icon. 

Apeejay promptly confirmed that the event would not proceed, and acknowledged that King’s IP rights constituted well-known trademarks.   

Based on these consent terms, the court passed an order and decree concerning these terms, thereby recognising that King’s trademarks CANDY CRUSH SAGA and CANDY CRUSH, the Candy Crush Saga’s app icon and their variations were well-known trademarks.

Subsequently, Apeejay also provided the details of the organisers of the said event, against whom action has already been initiated.

With the popularity of games such as Candy Crush Saga increasing, several opportunities have arisen for gaming companies. Be it merchandising or clothing, gaming companies have diversified into several other products/services, thereby leveraging their popularity. Not to be left behind, infringers have also tried to use characters and graphics taken from famous games for non-gaming products (such as in the present case) to ride on the games’ popularity. However, the Indian courts have been quick to grant relief against such infringers.

Adheesh Nargolkar and Shailendra Bhandare, Khaitan & Co, Mumbai

Khaitan & Co represented King.com Limited in this case

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