In a recent World Trademark Review article, Tim Lince wrote of the growing popularity of online marketplaces selling code for hackers to “reskin” popular mobile apps and offer them for sale on various app stores.
Lince cites the recent news of an unofficial sequel to the popular Minecraft: Pocket Edition app that was rising to the top of the Apple iOS Store. After thousands of downloads at $10.99, this clone was discovered and removed from the store. The article notes:
The success of this fake app, in terms of the number of downloads, was of particular concern following the discovery of malicious code being added to thousands of so-called ‘clone apps’ on app stores, which take advantage of the popularity of a successful app by creating a copycat version that appears to be affiliated with the original.
IP attorney Ryan Morrison is quoted in the article, arguing that such coding marketplaces make potentially IP-infringing clone apps easier to create, stating: “Online marketplaces that sell this type of code, which allows very easy reskins of popular apps, are fueling the pirate community on app stores.” Morrison concludes by saying: “This kind of infringement is rampant on the internet, it’s something that every IP attorney who deals with video games or software should be policing very aggressively. Shutting down one infringing code means you are potentially stopping hundreds of final products you’d have to fight eventually.”
Clearly, brand owners need to be aware of and monitor coding marketplaces just as they do the app stores. IP Lasso can help. Get in touch now for a free demonstration.