Apple Finally Starting To Reject App Store Submissions That Copy Other Icons

Apple Finally Starting To Reject App Store Submissions That Copy Other Icons

Unfortunately, the App Store has become home to thousands of poorly designed copycat apps that try to ride the coattails of other popular titles. Such apps use a similar name, look, description, and even icon to trick customers into downloading. While Apple is known for the stringent requirements it puts in place for third-party developers, many clear ripoffs still manage to slip through somehow.

It appears as though Apple is starting to crack down on copycat apps with more force. App Store submissions that uses icons similar to other popular apps are now getting banned.

Benjamin Mayo shares a notice from Apple relating to a rejected app that’s “icon appears to be similar” to the popular task manager Clear. The rejected app in question is called Clear Todo, a blatant ripoff of the original Clear app.

Apple Finally Starting To Reject App Store Submissions That Copy Other Icons

Mayo writes on his personal blog:

Traditionally, Apple has steered clear of protecting app trademarks which has resulted in a lot of copycat apps hitting the store.

It appears this policy has changed and Apple is taking a much more proactive role; rejecting apps which attempt to mislead users by aping successful apps’ trademarks. In short, Apple is helping to protect real developers from being ripped off. This is a good thing.

It’s currently unclear as to whether this new policy is being implemented across the board by Apple, or if this was a special case. Clear is a very high-profile iPhone app. Clear Todo was a clear copycat as well (pun intended), while other apps may only steal the general design of an icon or an app’s basic gameplay mechanic.

Apple should definitely be monitoring App Store app copycats more closely, so we’re hoping that this is more than an isolated incident.

  • debald6

    Less crappy apps the better. keep quality over quantity a priority please

  • selltheworld

    I would love a youtube video of the clear todo app. I love to see how talentless these copies are. It also amplifies how much work developers must do to make a truly great app.

  • assyrianpride

    its about time!

  • coolman1081

    As a developer I’m glad that Apple has decided to take some initiative on this.

  • RaptorOO7

    You are right its about time. Apple takes a hefty 30% cut for the apps sold (and can only be sold through their app store) so they should be responsible for taking down infringing apps that blatantly steal. Apple should also be responsible for fixing the crappy app store. There are over 600,000 apps and its impossible to discover, and buy apps. I would gladly spend more of my money on quality apps but you can’t find them.

    What Apple needs to do is take down infringing apps, refund the money and direct the users to the non infringing app and notify the customer.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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