Apple Approves Trademark Infringing Application in App Store

Have an app that you want to publish in the Apple App Store that has the same name as another [trademarked] app? Go ahead, Apple approves. At least that appears to be the situation today with a new app called Shop Savvy.

Sound familiar? It should since it’s the name of the uber popular barcode-scanning comparison shopping application by Big in Japan. Alex Muse, co-founder of Big in Japan, posted a story to their company blog today outlining the situation.

Shop Savvy, the application released yesterday by Blumai, describes itself as an app to calculate the final sales price of an item after tax, and track your spending history. While this is a bit different than Big in Japan’s application, both apps are clearly in the shopping space and could be considered competitive.

What is particularly strange is that the application’s developer, Blumai, nor Apple seem to mind that Blumai is infringing on a registered trademark of Big in Japan. Muse claims that both Blumai and Apple have so far refused to remove the competing application.

Folks that have heard of Shop Savvy (the barcode scanning app) and search for it in the app store are now presented with the following search result:

iTunes

A bit confusing to say the least, and definitely detrimental to the brand that Big in Japan has spent 2 years developing.

We’ve reached out to Blumai for comment but they have yet to respond.

UPDATE: Below is the response I received from Blumai

Hi Bradley,

Thank you for reaching out to us.

We are a small and new firm and have been busy working on several apps. We don’t have a lot of resources so we primarily use the iTunes submission process as our sanity check when we register our apps.

To our surprise we received word earlier today that another application on the iTunes store is using the Shop Savvy name. We looked into the matter and decided that it would be best to take down our application from the AppStore and rebrand it under a new name.

We’ve put in the request with Apple to have our application taken down and we are currently in the midst of thinking about a new title for our application.

Kind Regards,

Peter Lai

Bradley Joyce
brad@bradleyjoyce.com

Bradley is the founder of LAUNCH DFW and an avid proponent/supporter of the DFW Startup Community. Bradley is also the founder of Skyrise, a community, communications and concierge platform for commercial office buildings.