So let’s pretend you are a start-up iPhone software developing firm. Now, let’s say that you have developed a hot application. So hot, that Apple actually uses it in an iPhone commercial for a nationwide marketing campaign. I mean, your foaming at the mouth trying to predict your first month sales numbers.
But, when the App store launches in July, there is another application that looks exactly like yours. What’s worse is, yours cost users $2.99, and their app is a free download.
My guess is that you would be Hottrix, creators of iBeer, and you’d probably be pretty steamed.
And they are. They are suing the Molson Coors Brewing Co. for 12.5 million dollars in lost profits thanks to iPint. iPint was identical to Hottrix’ iBeer, but with a Carling Beer advertisement banner.
What’s funny is Steve Sheraton, inventor of iBeer, was actually approached by Beattie McGuinnes Bungay Ltd. ad agency for promission to use iBeer to market Coors products. Obviously Sheraton didn’t say no loud enough, and after just a short life on the App store, iPint was removed due to a cease and desist order.
After months of trying to settle the matter outside of court, the Arizona based software company has decided to bring in the attorneys.
I believe that if there is a direct correlation between Hottix declining iBeer profits, and a copyright law broken by Molson Coors, this should be a no brainer.
One thing is clear, as Sebastien stated in his Tap Tap Tap divorce article, this iPhone software developing game is “serious business.”(now accepting applications for my new start-up iPhone software company ;op)