The problem of fake mobile apps continues to grow and to attract attention. In his recent LegalMatter blog post, attorney Brian Meli highlighted the fact that almost all major brands spend “considerable time, energy and treasure to safeguarding their valuable trademark and copyright assets from would-be infringers” in the online world. However, he says most are ignoring the enormous infringement activity in the mobile app marketplaces.
For three years now, IP Lasso has been at the forefront of the battle to bring rogue apps under control. Not only do they often contain viruses and malware, but they can steal all sorts of personal data from a user’s device (see our previous posts about location tracking and WireLurker malware).
We’ve also warned about the damage a brand suffers with these pirated apps. Meli’s threat summary is just as direct (emphasis added):
“Consumer backlash and a loss of faith – not only in the brands behind the apps, but the marketplaces… is an ever present concern. And that’s to say nothing of the potential millions in lost revenue that these impostors can siphon from legitimate developers.”
According to Meli, and we agree, “every business that has a mobile app presence should strive to take an active monitoring approach to protect the integrity of their brand.” But with the millions of apps on a multitude of platforms available today, policing for rogue apps can be very daunting for a brand manager. That’s why IP Lasso’s low cost solution for brand owners to monitor and take down unofficial apps is becoming the answer for so many major brands.
Gartner predicts that app revenues will reach $77 billion by 2017. Pirated apps will not go away, but with some effort by brand owners, much of the potential damage can be avoided.