Crush saga

Today a friend told me that a game company has managed to get the European Union trademark for a very common word in the English language, when that word is used in the title of a game or article of clothing.

This is significance for those of us on the other side of the pond because the U.S., which generally honors E.U. trademark decisions, has issued a provisional trademark for such uses of this word.

And the lawyers at Apple Inc. are already enforcing that decision, since Apple distributes the game on its devices.

I probably shouldn’t use the word here, because some clever lawyer at Apple could plausibly imply that a “blog” is a kind of “game”, and that therefore I would be in violation of trademark laws. Remember, these are the people who recently proved in a court of law that Myron Krueger’s use of pinch-to-zoom in 1983 was actually first invented twenty five years later by Apple Inc. But that’s another crush saga.

So here is fair warning: If you are foolish enough to use that word in the title of a game you write or an article of clothing you sell, thinking that somehow you get a free pass because you played Candyland as a kid or like to wear candystripe pants, then you’ve got another think coming.

But what I can do is provide some alternate titles for frustrated game designers who would like a good name for their game, but are not allowed to use a certain word that starts with “C”. Herewith some possible titles, none of which have been trademarked, and all of which I would be happy to grant to any and all under an open source Creative Commons license:

Bubble Gum Crush Saga
Butterscotch Crush Saga
Caramel Cream Crush Saga
Cherry Balls Crush Saga
Chocolate Crush Saga
Cinammon Sticks Crush Saga
Circus Peanuts Crush Saga
Gobstopper Crush Saga
Gumdrop Crush Saga
Gumball Crush Saga
Gummi Bear Crush Saga
Gummi Worm Crush Saga
Jawbreaker Crush Saga
Jellybean Crush Saga
Lemon Drop Crush Saga
Licorice Crush Saga
Lollipop Crush Saga
Marshmallow Crush Saga
Peanut Butter Cup Crush Saga
Salt Water Taffy Crush Saga

All of the above titles are, as far as I know, legally free and clear for the taking. Just in case you’d like to use one as the title of your game. Or your article of clothing.

You are very welcome.

2 thoughts on “Crush saga”

  1. I’m crushed. If, um, it’s still ok to say that.

    In all seriousness, this is an amazing precedent. If this ruling stands, it implies that any common word in English can be trademarked for an extremely broad field of usage. The English language could become a legal minefield, impossible to navigate.

    I wonder whether people who have been playing this game will switch over to other games in protest.

    The sagaTM continues.

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