Received a "Cease and Desist" type letter. What next?

Discussion in 'App Store Business, Legal and Marketing' started by thejadedmonkey, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Hi all.

    I'm going to speak in generalities, I apologize but I'm not trying to badmouth this company - yet.

    Long story short, I' have an app in the app store for a somewhat well known company that does not have an app presence. It's been there for about a year now, without causing any problems. The name of the app is the abbreviation of the company, it doesn't even list the same of the company. It also says "Unofficial app" on every screen.

    Last week I received yet another email, asking me if the company in question has any plans to release an official app, and if I could implement a function.

    I emailed this company, and a week later received a reply from their lawyer telling me to also change the color scheme and increase the "unofficialness" of my app, because the colors were too similar, combined with the abbreviation of their name...

    I don't believe I've done anything that would harm this company as they claim in their letter. Further, I don't think they can make this claim when they don't even have a competing app in the app store.

    What's my next step? My plan is to email the contact again, and ask them if I should tell the users of my app that their "official" reply was a cease and desist letter.
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Are we supposed to guess what your app is? Why not post a link?
  3. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  4. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I specifically don't want to mention it as I have never been in this situation before, and don't know what much information I can/should release. I don't want to potentially deal with libel on top of everything else.
  5. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    I'm confused by this paragraph. Can you clarify? Who did you receive this email from?

    As long as they have rights to their intellectual property, they get to decide how it's used. But I'm not a lawyer, and perhaps one more versed in the areas of IP and copyright would be better able to explain this.
  6. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    It was from a user of my app, I get them every now and again asking about such and such feature.

    I'll probably comply or remove the app all-together, it's not worth the hassle. Like they say, no good deed. :confused:
  7. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

    Aug 12, 2008
    Cambridge, UK
    Is this...
    ...all their email said? If so that doesn't sound like a cease and desist letter at all, more like a "we like your app but would prefer you to make some changes so we don't have to send a cease & desist".

    A cease and desist letter will basically tell you to remove the app permanently or face legal action.
  8. Twimfy macrumors 6502a


    Sep 11, 2011
    Speaking from experience. Remove from sale and move on.

    They might not end up pursuing you in court but if they lean hard enough on Apple your developer account could get suspended and this will lock you out of any earnings.

    Although I've never had an account suspension I know people who have and it's almost impossible to get it back, they had to start an entirely new business just to do so.

    That said. I'm confused a little. Did you receive this email from Apple via your dev account or a third party?

    If it was from a 3rd party just hang fire. If there's pressure from you to remove it from the AppStore then that will come from Apple directly, that's when you really need to sit up and pay attention but then I guess there's nothing to stop the company involved from pushing legal action without going to apple first.

    It's a tricky one. Be careful.
  9. achlee macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2013
    Do you have an update on this situation? I'm facing a similar one and I am curious to know how you handled it.
  10. ilmman macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2012
    You can either comply with them and they most likely won't escalate the problem further (unless your making millions), you could remove the app to avoid the hassle, negotiate with them on a deal or just take matters to court. Personally if your not making tons of dosh with the app, its better to not take the last option.

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