Apple removing App Store name squatters

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Developers who reserve an app name without eventually uploading a binary are being warned by Apple that their records will be deleted.



Alongside some of Apple's more high-profile changes to the development guidelines for the App Store, Apple has quietly begun removing the records of app names that are reserved but remain unused, TechCrunch reports.



The changes come as Apple is being more transparent about its app submission process. The Cupertino, Calif., company published Thursday its guidelines for approving or rejecting apps submitted to the App Store.



Although the issue of app store "squatters" was brought up over a year ago, it wasn't until recently that Apple began restricting the name reservation process.



Developers will have 120 days to upload a binary after creating an app in the iTunes Connect system, according to an email from Apple obtained by TechCrunch. After 90 days, developers will receive a notification from Apple, warning them that they only have 30 days left to upload their app. Once the 120 days are past, "the app name will then be available for another developer to use."



Management of the app store has become increasingly critical as developers flock to a platform that many have described as a "gold rush." Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced in June that the App Store had already paid out $1 billion dollars to developers in just two years.



As of March, an estimated twenty percent of iPhone app developers come from startups founded specifically to create applications for the iPhone, according to a survey by Flurry.



With over 250,000 apps on the App Store, "'discoverability' has become a significant issue," noted Flurry. As such, app name squatting, much like cybersquatting during the 90s, has become an issue too serious for Apple to ignore.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Name squatters suck. How about doing something useful instead of trying to find the next trick.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    120 days is probably too long. Hopefully they ban developers that are willfully doing this.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    It would be nice if this happened to patent-squatters too. If you don't show an implementation of your idea within a reasonable time-frame then someone else can use it freely.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    why i can't update to iOS 4.1?

    the computer shows that was not internet to update the iOS on my iphone 4? help!
  • Reply 5 of 45
    Well this has seriously pissed me off. I'm one of the people apple has given 30 days warning to. I'm not a 'name squatter" and now im gonna have to rush 3 sodding apps out the door in 30 days.



    NOT amused.
  • Reply 6 of 45
    That's why you only make one app at a time.



    ~Callum
  • Reply 7 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Well this has seriously pissed me off. I'm one of the people apple has given 30 days warning to. I'm not a 'name squatter" and now im gonna have to rush 3 sodding apps out the door in 30 days.



    NOT amused.



    I'm in the same boat and am in the middle of working on several apps for which I have already "reserved" names. Names are important for marketing plans and artists for design of titles, icons and other things as well as related websites & domains.

    Development for an idea can take a lot longer than the 120 days Apple now gives.

    If you are developing several products in tandem then it will certainly take longer than 120 days.



    There is always the option (I guess & hope) of uploading a binary that will not pass the review process or the option of contacting Apple with a reason for why it's taking so long to submit a binary and why you should be allowed to hold on to the name.
  • Reply 8 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by callumacrae View Post


    That's why you only make one app at a time.



    ~Callum



    Yes, and tell clients to go away and come back in 2-3 months for new contracts, because they're not going to go elsewhere, right?

    This just makes it a little harder for the 1/2/3 person devshops.
  • Reply 9 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeroenhmg View Post


    Yes, and tell clients to go away and come back in 2-3 months for new contracts, because they're not going to go elsewhere, right?

    This just makes it a little harder for the 1/2/3 person devshops.



    Yep. I support the change, as names are quite limited, but we're also somewhat in the same boat.



    Fortunately there are better names we'd rather have that are currently being squatted on than the ones we have reserved.



    (And we already got the one we wanted: Digital Comics)
  • Reply 10 of 45
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeroenhmg View Post


    I'm in the same boat and am in the middle of working on several apps for which I have already "reserved" names. Names are important for marketing plans and artists for design of titles, icons and other things as well as related websites & domains.

    Development for an idea can take a lot longer than the 120 days Apple now gives.

    If you are developing several products in tandem then it will certainly take longer than 120 days.



    There is always the option (I guess & hope) of uploading a binary that will not pass the review process or the option of contacting Apple with a reason for why it's taking so long to submit a binary and why you should be allowed to hold on to the name.



    Perhaps there is a middle path. Yes, contact Apple and discuss this and offer to show them your progress and I suspect they will allow you more time. Apple isn't the post office you know LOL. That would be far better than rushing out three unfinished apps and risking pissing off buyers and or advertisers. I have always found Apple are very reasonable. It is for a good reason they are doing this and it benefits people such as you too to remove real squatters. Best of luck.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by The Madcapper View Post


    Yep. I support the change, as names are quite limited, but we're also somewhat in the same boat.



    Fortunately there are better names we'd rather have that are currently being squatted on than the ones we have reserved.



    (And we already got the one we wanted: Digital Comics)



    Nice app name! Just curious, do you try to make sure the DN is also available in such situations as part of the business plan or isn't that necessary in your experience?
  • Reply 12 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It would be nice if this happened to patent-squatters too. If you don't show an implementation of your idea within a reasonable time-frame then someone else can use it freely.



    +1 Exactly! The current patent system is horrible...
  • Reply 13 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It would be nice if this happened to patent-squatters too. If you don't show an implementation of your idea within a reasonable time-frame then someone else can use it freely.



    Good idea. Although 120 days is probably not long enough... 2 years?
  • Reply 14 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    Well this has seriously pissed me off. I'm one of the people apple has given 30 days warning to. I'm not a 'name squatter" and now im gonna have to rush 3 sodding apps out the door in 30 days.



    So why are you wasting time here reading and posting.

    Get coding, man!
  • Reply 15 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It would be nice if this happened to patent-squatters too. If you don't show an implementation of your idea within a reasonable time-frame then someone else can use it freely.



    One result of that would be that real innovations which are difficult to finance would become even more so. I'd be unlikely to invest in development of an item if the patent could be lost before the inventor was finished.



    For equally risky ventures, poor inventors would lose their rights while rich inventors would be able to prevent such a thing.



    It is a very bad idea for these two reasons.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Newtron View Post


    Poor inventors would lose their rights while rich inventors would be able to prevent such a thing.



    That's what I was thinking.

    Even getting a prototype of some things would take lots of cash and if Joe Six Pack who came up with it could not get some financing then he loses it?

    Yes, there could/should be some type of reform in the patent system.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by themexican View Post


    why i can't update to iOS 4.1?

    the computer shows that was not internet to update the iOS on my iphone 4? help!



    A: This is not the proper thread or forum to ask for support.



    B: You have to be a lot more specific



    - What iTunes version are you syncing with



    - what computer to you sync with



    etc.



    but seriously, try better the support page at www.apple.com there are a lot of helpful threads in the user forum as well as FAQ's covering this kind of problems.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Newtron View Post


    One result of that would be that real innovations which are difficult to finance would become even more so. I'd be unlikely to invest in development of an item if the patent could be lost before the inventor was finished.



    For equally risky ventures, poor inventors would lose their rights while rich inventors would be able to prevent such a thing.



    It is a very bad idea for these two reasons.



    Obviously if those people were working on a project then they'd have some sort of proof that the idea was being worked on regardless of wealth. Even if the project needed funding to start, evidence of funding progress would allow them to retain the rights.



    If they show no evidence of work to implement an idea nor any attempt to fund a project within the 2 years mentioned above then they are merely squatting with the intention of taking money from the hard work of other people and their patent rights should be removed.



    They'd be free to resubmit their application at the end of that period but if someone else came along with a similar patent but with evidence of an implementation then the lack of progress for 2 years would act against the original applicant and the rights would be transferred to the people who show evidence they will make something of it.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeroenhmg View Post


    Yes, and tell clients to go away and come back in 2-3 months for new contracts, because they're not going to go elsewhere, right?

    This just makes it a little harder for the 1/2/3 person devshops.



    Hire more staff.
  • Reply 20 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Obviously if those people were working on a project then they'd have some sort of proof that the idea was being worked on regardless of wealth. Even if the project needed funding to start, evidence of funding progress would allow them to retain the rights.



    If they show no evidence of work to implement an idea nor any attempt to fund a project within the 2 years mentioned above then they are merely squatting with the intention of taking money from the hard work of other people and their patent rights should be removed.





    I think you assume too much WRT the intentions of patent holders. What if they have naively been sitting there for two years, waiting for the world to beat a path to their door?
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