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Anybody had an app pulled due to a false complaint?

12-18-2009, 03:53 PM
#1
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 81
Anybody had an app pulled due to a false complaint?

I got a notice from Apple yesterday threatening to pull down an app of mine, "360 Artist's Reference - Male Hand," because a competing developer, Enso Mobile, claimed I copied the app from their "Art Model" series.

The app does resemble one of theirs, but it's based on another of my apps - Anatomy of Yoga - that was released before any of theirs were. The UI is different (coughbettercough), and the 3D models it uses are properly licensed. The subject matter is literally ancient. They're not claiming any kind of patent infringement (plus Anatomy of Yoga, which uses the same code, was first anyway).

The app is no money; it isn't even one of my favorites. I made it because my wife (who's an artist) thought it would be useful. But it ticks me off to think they could get away with this.

I don't think they have any kind of legitimate claim. It looks to me like they're just ticked off that someone would compete with them. Has anybody actually had a competitor manage to knock their app off the store in a situation like this?

Last edited by Uptown Arts; 12-18-2009 at 03:59 PM.
12-18-2009, 04:09 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,454
I rememberd the sad "Stoneloops! of Jurassica"-Story, as I read this.

Hi, you seemed to be lost on the Internets.
This is TouchArcade, where 2$ for a game is too much, 5$ is an outrage, and 10$ or more is putting sugar in their car tanks whilst killing puppies.
12-18-2009, 04:17 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: lol
Posts: 2,715
My game was pulled for putting the word "it" in it.....
DUH! There I go again
12-18-2009, 04:59 PM
#4
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, OR, Cascadia
Posts: 332
Quote:
Has anybody actually had a competitor manage to knock their app off the store in a situation like this?
Yes. Joe Miccio, the patent holder for "Chess-like game", claimed my game "Mini Chess" infringed on their patent and threatened lawsuit. So I pulled it, simply because the cost of proving that claim bogus was too high. Perhaps not surprisingly, he has a licensee who's coming out with a similar game soon.

Hans im Gluck also tried with Starcassonne, but by changing the game's name to Xeno Sola, I resolved that dispute with the game only being down for a couple of weeks.
12-18-2009, 06:14 PM
#5
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: #317
Posts: 1,216
Send a message via Yahoo to swishinj
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uptown Arts View Post
The app does resemble one of theirs, but it's based on another of my apps - Anatomy of Yoga - that was released before any of theirs were. The UI is different (coughbettercough), and the 3D models it uses are properly licensed. The subject matter is literally ancient. They're not claiming any kind of patent infringement (plus Anatomy of Yoga, which uses the same code, was first anyway)

I don't think they have any kind of legitimate claim. It looks to me like they're just ticked off that someone would compete with them. Has anybody actually had a competitor manage to knock their app off the store in a situation like this?
Tell Apple the 1st paragraph then! Also to get them back say they copied the Anatomy of Yoga App

You won't find me on the leaderboards.
12-19-2009, 12:33 AM
#6
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: UK / Toronto
Posts: 602
Yep, I agree with the above post. Get back to Apple and demand your app to be put back, and at the same time file a request for their own app to be removed due to it bearing resemblance to your original app.

It's an absolutely retarded system Apple have right now, but you have to fight fire with fire, and if someone asks your app to be removed unfairly simply make the exact same claim about their app and Apple will remove it.

I think the solution to this problem is that Apple needs to start treating iTunes as a store and not as a publisher of apps. If someone has any sort of copyright claim against a product being sold at Walmart, they can't just ask Walmart on a whim. The claimant needs to go to a judge and obtain a court order to prevent sales of it. To get that they need proof of an infringement, as well as evidence that the manufacturer is unwilling to cooperate.

Apple should write up a proper procedure for an infringement, where the first instance would be for the claimant to contact the developer directly themselves. If there is an obvious infringement — e.g. a dev selling a Mario game and Nintendo sends them a threatening legal action email/letter/phonecall — then the developer will most likely remove the app from the store of their own accord, and Apple didn't need to do anything. In the case the developer refuses, then the claimant should take the case to court and get the judge to issue a temporary 'freeze' on the app, then — and only then — should Apple get involved and remove the app from sale.

Last edited by EssentialParadox; 12-19-2009 at 12:36 AM.