Facebook Cracking Down On Trademark-Infringing iPhone Apps
CNET has reported that some iPhone apps that make use of Facebook's API in their application have been facing issues with communicating to the Facebook server. This apparently follows Facebook's crackdown on iPhone apps that violate the company's trademarks.
According to this report, Facebook has been deleting the credentials of developers who are behind the trademark-infringing applications and this has rendered the iPhone apps unusable.
The developer credentials serve as the authentication mechanism for applications to communicate with the Facebook API. In the absence of credentials, the apps are no longer able to retrieve information from the Facebook server and consequently users accessing such applications are likely to see error messages.
Some of the prominent apps that have been affected by this issue include 'Emoti for Facebook' and 'iLoader'. While 'Emoti for Facebook' has been found guilty of using the trademarked 'Facebook' term in the application name, iLoader has been targeted owing to its use of an image that was deemed to be confusingly similar to Facebook's iconic 'F' logo.
Terming the exercise as a routine affair, Facebook representative Malorie Lucich says:
"We ensure that applications that access Facebook user data adhere to Facebook Platform policies. Those applications that do not comply are subject to enforcement, which can include disabling or limiting their access to Facebook APIs.[...]Applications that are in clear violation of our Platform policies around trademark infringement and affiliation will be removed from the App Store by Apple.[...][W]e are happy to answer questions from developers and work with them to get their apps into compliance as appropriate."
Facebook's decision to crackdown on trademark-infringing applications without notice has not gone down well with a majority of the affected developers. Revealing his disappointment over the issue, Chris Diskin, the developer of 'Emoti for Facebook' app writes,
"I am 100 percent okay with making the changes they've requested. All we've done up to now is play by rules that appeared to be accepted based on all the other apps on the App Store. Many, many apps use the 'F' and 'Facebook' on them. Up to now, it hasn't been an issue, then suddenly 'chop,' app deleted."
While the issue may have inconvenienced a lot of iPhone app users as well, it needs to be noted that the onus for complying with the terms and conditions lies with the app developers and hence platform owners like Facebook should not be blamed.
The affected app developers are reported to be working with Apple to submit modified versions of their iPhone apps to the App Store.
Have you noticed issues with any of the iPhone apps for Facebook? Do you think Facebook is justified in cracking down on such iPhone apps? Let us know your views in the comments.
- Facebook’s Faces Trademark Suit Over Timeline
- Apptitude Uses Facebook To Figure Out Which iPhone Apps Your Friends Are Using
- Twitter Suspends UberMedia Clients For Privacy And Monetization Violations, Trademark Infringement
- The USPTO Is Reviewing Facebook’s Trademark For ‘Facebook.’ Wait, What?
- First iOS 4 Multitasking Enabled iPhone Apps Available On The App Store