It seems that our competition, DP Technologies Ltd, seems to think that we are infringing on their rights. Here’s their complaint, sent to me by Apple, requesting me to make whatever changes necessary:
The disputed developer copied design elements and functionality from our app DishPointer AR Pro and DishPointer Maps. In particular, showing the clarke belt and satellites on the camera preview is propriatary to us for which we are filing a patent. Showing a street map and displaying alignment lines on top of that map is also propriatery to us. Please remove infringing app from store.
Lets start with the first point. ‘copied design elements and functionality’. First of all, we submitted our app through iTunes Connect a day or two before theirs was released, so we couldn’t have copied design elements. (Unless you count the color of the clarke belt? Sorry, sky=blue, grass=green. The color with the best contrast for both is red.) Second… copied functionality? Really? Two apps on the app store can’t have similar functionality? Tell that to all the flashlight apps, video poker apps, <insert game here> apps. If our app looked and behaved exactly like theirs, perhaps they’d have a case. However, ours has more features and works BETTER.
Showing the clarke belt and satellites on the camera preview is propriatary to them. Nevermind that they spelled proprietary wrong, but are they really saying that nobody else can show satellite positions on the camera preview? This is a relatively simple calculation you can find in many math books and the web. The clarke belt is simply an extension, showing where the clarke belt is located.
They state they ‘are filing a patent’. If they had a patent (and I hope the USPO is a bit smarter then allowing something so basic to be patented) they might have a reason for us to change our app. As it is, we can just as easily say ‘we are filing a patent’. Until a patent is granted, this kind of wording is simply rather lame scare tactics.
Next comes ‘showing a street map and displaying alignment lines is also proprietery to us’. (Spelled it wrong two different ways? Really?) No claim of a patent here, maybe because its done on many other web sites?
I sent Apple an email back telling them how ludicrous this is, but unfortunately, they say they will not arbitrate, and we’ll have to work it out between ourselves. I’m hoping before they just take our app off, they’ll actually look at the facts.
I suppose I should be flattered they feel so threatened by our application. Perhaps instead of using underhanded methods to remove their competition, they should do it the old fashioned way: Make a better product!
Anyone have any ideas?