Apple allegedly asks devs to remove the word ‘memory’ from app names

By , Nov 15, 2012

Yes, you read that right. German puzzle and board game maker Ravensburger has apparently decided any iOS app with the word “memory” in its title should be banished from the App Store. The reason? Ravensburger is behind “Memory”, a wildly popular puzzle game. While 91 percent of Germans are familiar with it, the game also enjoys international visibility and Ravensburger claims to hold a trademark on the term in over 40 countries. Apple has responded to the pressure and reportedly began emailing select developers to remove the word ‘memory’ from app names…

Per Gamasutra, the issue doesn’t affect U.S.-based developers because Ravensburger’s trademark doesn’t extend to the country. Makers of apps that sell on international App Stores were politely asked to make a name change in order to avoid legal trouble, the publication reported.

Gamasutra has received confirmation from two separate App developers about the notices, though neither Ravensburger nor Apple have responded to our requests for commentary.

A developer forwarded Apple’s notice to the publication and it’s been concluded that Ravensburger claims to hold the trademark in Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Equador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Venezuela.

It’s interesting that United Kingdom, like the U.S., is not on the list.

By the way, Ravensburger has a bunch of puzzle games available on the App Store.

What’s your call?

Is Ravensburger taking it too far or are they entitled to protect their hard-earned recognition?

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  • http://twitter.com/oneBurge Burge

    Soon all apps with have no name and no content cause someone/company will own what’s in/on a app… This is starting to take the piss now..

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Every six month apple does some weird shit… Remmember when they removed the word ‘Jailbreak’ from entire iTunes store..

    • http://twitter.com/jmarsh5 Justin Marshall

      This isn’t Apple’s call. It’s Ravensburger that’s pressuring Apple.

  • queen_ir3ne

    That’s the stupidest fucking thing ever! Why are words like “memory” trademarked in the first place??

  • http://twitter.com/ItsDidrick Didrick Namtvedt

    This sounds just plain ridiculous. It’s as if a singer would ask another singer to remove a word from a song or album title just because they both happen to use the same word. And “memory” is a word free for anyone to use, at least that’s what I thought. Heard many crazy lawsuit and copyright stories before but this is definitely one of those that really take the cake!

  • http://twitter.com/JoeColson Joseph Colson

    That is absolutely ridiculous, your supposedly not aloud to trademark generic words, however cases like this seem to happen all the time with a ridiculously generic word which could describe a required attribute to play the game ‘Memory’ Ridiculous.

  • Manny Gonzalez

    Equador with a “q”? Someone forgot to use their spell checker lol it’s Ecuador by the way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/masonicninja Michael Scott Allen

    Sounds like Apple is planning on some kind of new product which will be called Memory or have Memory in its name. They’re trying to clear the field so theirs is the only product.

  • sjah07

    You shouldn’t be able to trademark common words!

  • Falk M.

    It’s funny how nobody realizes that memory is an English word, which isn’t the official language of any of these countries afaik.

    So no, legally it’s not a common word.
    However, I do think that Ravensburger shouldn’t be such a**es and only go after apps that are games and have the word memory in them, but that’s just my opinion.

    Anyhow, you want to trade internationally,
    don’t expect only your local rules to apply.

  • Paul Dunahoo

    Not true. I have an app called “More Memory,” and I asked Apple about this. They said it was fine.

    • http://twitter.com/ytos86 Yaseen AlSuwaidan

      In the US store, It is fine, but not in others and the international store, too.

  • http://twitter.com/ytos86 Yaseen AlSuwaidan

    I opened Microsoft Office Word and wrote “Memory”. Then looked for a synonyms for it…

    OK. Good.. I found “Remembrance” as a synonyms for “Memory”. I will trademark that shit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.chamberlain.338 Joe Chamberlain

    Can I ask this site to remove every occurrence of the word “memory” and “Apple”. Or I’m afraid, I’ll see you in court… Regards Tim Cook…

  • Darren Mason

    this is true i just got denied my app because of this which is BS!!!