Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/17/ifart_versus_pull_my_finger/

Feuding iPhone fart-makers raise legal stink

This whole court is out of odor!

By Austin Modine

Posted in Law, 17th February 2009 00:30 GMT

The developer behind the iPhone's top digital fart generator wants the American legal system to declare that using the phrase "pull my finger" does not run afoul of a rival's trademark.

Infomedia, maker the immensely popular iFart Mobile app, is taking Pull My Finger developer Air-O-Matic to Colorado court seeking a declaratory judgment and additional "relief."

It could very well result in the most important US fart-related judgment since the case of Smelt it V. Dealt it.

Infomedia alleges that Air-O-Matic has repeatedly sent it complaints over its use of the common flatulence-related expression, "pull my finger," in iFart's marketing materials. The app developer claims it's taking preemptive legal action to avoid being subject to liability.

The filing also includes letters allegedly from Air-O-Matic counsel Karen Burr complaining that iFart lead developer Joel Comm posted negative reviews for competing fart-producing app on iTunes in addition to writing glowing "testimonials" for his own software. It further claims Burr spammed Pull My Finger customers on Twitter with ads for iFart.

Comm responds on his personal blog that he has the right to state his opinion and that he simply used Twitter to "engage in conversation" with users of competing fart apps.

(On Joel Comm's blog, the words "great pride," "true entertainment machine," and "iFart" collide in a sentence without any apparent irony.)

Comms claims in his blog that Air-O-Matic had first contacted Apple insisting that iFart be removed from the iTunes store because of "unfair business practices." Apple told the two developers to settle the issue on their own.

When Infomedia's legal counsel then contacted Air-O-Matic, the rival firm declined talks and demanded $50,000 in alleged damages, according to correspondences filed by InfoMedia.

"Pull My Finger fell precipitously from being the #1 iPhone application as a direct result of InfoMedia's systematic efforts to profit from the Pull My Finger name and leverage the buzz around it," a letter allegedly from Air-O-Matic's counsel to Infomedia states. "InfoMedia's efforts have been directing at merging Pull My Finger and iFart in the consumers' minds, so that searches for Pull My Finger pull up the iFart application.

A copy of InfoMedia's complaint can be found here.

The whole odious situation is really a shame. Ask any cashier – money and farts shouldn't mix. ®