Feeds

Apple bans 'memory' games from iOS App Store

Cupertino surrenders to German trademark claim

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ® 

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.