Monday, July 6, 2009

Trademarks in iPhone Apps

Dear Rich: I'm working on an iPhone app that uses trademarks from other companies, including Apple. Apple has rejected my app and won't approve it unless I remove these  trademarks. Is that legal? The short answer is that Apple can make you change your app. Developers are bound by Apple's trademark guidelines which are incorporated into your Apple Developer Connection agreement.("You agree to follow Apple's Guidelines For Using Apple Trademarks and Copyrights..."). In addition, Apple will remove or reject apps if it feels that the use of a trademark violates the law (or somebody files a lawsuit). More importantly, as recent rejections indicated, few developers want to get into a public dispute with the App Store team since they control the most lucrative mobile apps gateway. The Dear Rich staff believes that patience, persistence, and unconditional love is the best approach when dealing with an illogical app store rejection.