Feeds

iPhone beer maker sues Carling over virtual suds

Demands $12.5m for the pint that isn't

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

An iPhone app developer is suing the Molson Coors Brewing company for over $12.5m in damages for allegedly copying his $3 novelty beer-pouring application and offering it on iTunes for free.

Steve Sheraton, operator of Nevada-based Hottrix, claims the idea for his iBeer app was illegitimately lifted by the brewing conglomerate and used to advertise its Carling brand of beer.

Hottrix's iBeer app uses the iPhone's accelerometer to simulate a frothy glass of beer being poured when the device is tilted. It's designed to look like the user is drinking a beer, without the hassle of actually consuming a delicious and refreshing beverage.

Sheraton's first version of iBeer was essentially a video of pouring beer made for jailbroken iPhones and the Palm Pilot. He registered a US copyright for "iBeer Video" in May 2008.

The lawsuit claims Sheraton was first contacted by Coors' UK advertising agency to license his iBeer 1.0 software, but after being rejected, it nevertheless used Sweden's Illusion Labs to create a near-identical app called iPint.

Both iPint and newly-interactive iBeer 2.0 were offered at the iTunes store when it was first opened to developers in July. But not only was iPint offered gratis on iTunes (contrary to iBeer's $3 price tag), but it also included small, optional game where the user navigates a beer sliding down a bar while avoiding obstacles. Shereton claims the addition was made to "create a false distinction between the Infringing App and the iBeer Content."

"On information and belief, as iPint increased in popularity, iBeer 2.0 decreased in popularity since end-users could get ostensibly the same application without a direct cost (besides viewing the Carling adversing) of paying $2.99 for iBeer 2.0," the filing states.

That July, Hottrix sent a cease and desist letter to the makers of iPint. The app was shortly removed from iTunes for US users, but remains available in most other countries.

Sheraton claims iPint has since enjoyed over 6,000,000 downloads worldwide, all of which "significantly impair the downloading of the iBeer Content." He's asking California's Central District Court to award damages in excess of $12,540,000 for lost profits, alternative statutory damages plus interest, or alternative restitution, "whichever is higher."

The story comes by way of Wired. A copy of the lawsuit is available here (PDF). ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.