The reaction was pretty entertaining to follow but the reaction to the reaction means that the internet will have a happy ending. After enormous public backlash and pressure following the announcement of React World and the discovery of numerous trademarks, The Fine Bros and Fine Bros Entertainment announced that they would be rescinding their trademarks and cancelling React World.
A couple of weeks ago, we brought you news that Sony Computer Entertainment of America tried and failed to trademark the term “let’s play” at the end of 2015. We noted that they had a year to appeal the ruling by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
It turns out that Sony didn’t waste any time in trying again to trademark “let’s play” but the USPTO once again refused the application.
They pitched it to the world as if they were doing this great service to their fans and YouTube creators alike. When YouTube mega stars The Fine Bros announced the creation of “React World” to allow users to license their format for a share of the revenue the video generates, it turned out that almost no one agreed with their self-assessment.
Over the last week, the Fine Bros and their team have been in complete damage control mode as they try to quell the internet uproar over the brotherly duo and their company trademarking “react” and apparently claiming ownership of reaction videos on YouTube.
In an unusual gaming controversy, Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA) applied for a trademark of the term “let’s play” back at the end of October 2015. The application was discovered by the internet over the last week. This sparked a not insignificant controversy over SCEA trying to claim ownership of a fairly common term in the gaming world.
Funnily enough, the controversy should have been over before it even started. Before the news of the copyright application broke, the US Patent and Trademark Office refused Sony’s application.
The move to trademark such a common word was met with controversy in the gaming industry as many felt that King was trying to kill any competition. However, King’s move has nothing to do with a change of heart about trademarking candy but how they’re going about defending their candy trademark.
Last month, it came to light that King, the makers behind the wildly popular Candy Crush Saga mobile game, had filed trademark applications on the words “candy” and “saga.” Not only are they trying to trademark common as dirt words, they were trying to enforce their trademarks by going after other games, including the not at all similar The Banner Saga game by Stoic Studio.
At the end of January, King CEO Riccardo Zacconi issued an open letter saying that King wasn’t intent on eliminating any and all competition using their trademarks. Instead, King said that their trademark policy “is to protect our IP and to also respect the IP of others.”
Unfortunately, that isn’t how it’s actually working in real life. King is using loopholes in trademark law as part of a legal battle with CandySwipe, a game that preceded Candy Crush Saga by two years, and outspend developer Albert Ransom out of the mobile app business.