Thankless Job of Playing Cop

There has been a lot written recently about how Apple’s police officer role in the AppStore. It’s true: Apple has taken some applications out for various reasons. Why? Who knows. But there has been plenty of speculation and “better than thou” thinking on this topic, to be sure.

Today, a story surfaced about an application from Coors called iPint, a free application that simulates drinking a beer on the iPhone. It is exactly like an application called iBeer, a $3 application. The iBeer developer is suing Coors. Apple, playing cop, chose to take down the iPint app (Coors’ application) from the US store. The story is here.

I don’t envy Apple. Playing cop is a thankless job.

Here’s where it pays: A developer in England had developed an application with a very similar name to FastFigures. Of course, I want to protect our brand name. I contacted my lawyer and contacted Apple, who I knew would want to know about the issue. After consulting with each, I also contacted the developer. A nice guy. He was more than willing to change the product name and the application was re-posted this week. Apple stood by, monitored the situation, and made sure everything was done correctly and to everyone’s satisfaction.

What could have been an ugly situation was handled smoothly and professionally. So here is a public thanks to Apple for playing the thankless job that no one else — save the legal system — wants.