I recently received notification from Apple that Reversi is a trademark of Ravensburger AG and that I needed to change the name of the application, or take it down. I know that Othello is a trademark (of Anjar Co), but thought that Reversi was a generic name and not a trademark. After some investigation, it transpires that Ravensburger AG have a European trademark for the name. Mattel also held a US trademark for the name, but this lapsed in 1989.
I stumbled upon this reversi game, Deep Green Reversi, which runs on Android. The graphics in the game, in particular the status bar under the board and the menus look very similar to Reversi on the iPhone. Furthermore, the game description for Deep Green on the Android market is an almost verbatim copy of the description for Reversi on the App Store, with 'iPhone' replaced by 'Android'.
Every iPhone app developer goes through great pains to get their apps noticed and hopefully to break into the charts, which will result in increased sales. Rather than building great apps to entice buyers, the approach some devs take is to release crapware and then to dishonestly fill the App Store with five star reviews that rave about the brilliance of their apps, enticing many gullible users into buying them in the process. Whilst I understand the difficulty that all devs have in promoting their applications, Apple should draw the line at this sort of unethical behaviour.
There has been chatter of late in the iPhone developer forums that I frequent regarding the proliferation of crap applications (crapplications, or simply crapps) in the App Store and that the App Store model encourages this. Could this really be true?
Like many others, I have a full-time job and just develop iPhone applications in my spare time. But that does not mean it costs nothing to develop my applications. On the contrary - my spare time is very valuable to me - but how do I quantify it? If you assume that I did some other work, say contract work, over that time then the opportunity cost of this lost income can be determined.
With this in mind, I decided to examine one of my applications, Magnetic Block Puzzle to see what the cost of developing it was and what sort of sales I would need to achieve to break even in a reasonable period of time.