Feeds

Apple bans 'memory' games from iOS App Store

Cupertino surrenders to German trademark claim

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Apple is reportedly sending email notices to developers of iOS games with the word "memory" in their titles, warning them that unless they change their apps' names, they will be pulled from the App Store.

According to a report by Gamasutra, the move comes at the behest of German puzzle and board game maker Ravensburger, which claims to own the exclusive trademark for the word "memory" in game titles in some 42 countries.

The basis of the claim is Ravensburger's family of Memory-branded board games, which the company says are "world-renowned classics" – so popular, it claims, that the Memory name is familiar to 91 per cent of Germans.

Presumably, that includes the German expatriate community, as well. In addition to Germany itself, Ravensburger also claims to hold the trademark in Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Equador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, 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. 

Although neither the UK nor the US is included in the list, developers whose apps are sold internationally will need to resubmit them under new names in those countries, as well, if they want to maintain consistent branding across all of their markets.

Photo of Ravensburger's 'emory: East Meets West' board game

Offending iOS apps could easily be mistaken for this, Germans claim

So far, Apple has issued no public statement on the matter and neither it nor Ravensburger responded to The Reg's request for comment. But for Cupertino to cave in to Ravensburger's request without much fuss isn't really surprising, considering that Apple itself has made similar demands of iOS developers in the past.

In 2009, John Devor of Mac shareware company The Little App Factory received a cease-and-desist letter from the iPod-maker's lawyers claiming that his iPodRip app's name violated Apple's trademarks.

Frustrated, and worried that changing his app's name after six years of sales would cost him business, Devor emailed no less than Steve Jobs himself for help. Instead of the intervention Devon had hoped for, however, Jobs merely sent a one-line response: "Change your apps [sic] name. Not that big of a deal."

Indeed. And if we here at El Reg may proffer and observation, Ravensburger only appears to hold the trademark on the English word "memory," meaning the equivalent titles in German are probably fair game. An app called "Preschool Memory Match" may be verboten under the new rules, but you must admit that "Kindergarten Erinnerungsvermögen Übereinstimmen" has a certain ring to it. ® 

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.