Spry Fox, a social developer most recently known for its Facebook game Triple Town, has filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against iOS development house 6Waves LOLAPPS (seriously) over Yeti Town, a mobile app that Spry Fox CEO David Edery claims is almost an exact duplicate of his company's product.
"We're not just talking about the game's basic mechanics here," Edery said in a statement made on his personal blog. "We're talking about tons of little details, from the language in the tutorial, to many of our UI elements, to the quantities and prices of every single item in the store." What's more, Spry Fox was in confidential, NDA-protected negotiations with 6Waves LOLAPPS to publish Triple Town, right up until the day Yeti Town was released.
As part of their negotiations, Spry Fox had given 6Waves months of private access to Triple Town during its closed beta test. "It's bad enough to rip off another company. To do so while you are pumping them for private information (first, our game design ideas, and later, after the game was launched on Facebook, our private revenue and retention numbers) is profoundly unethical by any measure."
Mobile rip-offs have become fairly commonplace these days, so its refreshing to see a small developer aggressively try to protect its intellectual property. The outcome of this case will be unlikely to set any legal precedents, but if the courts weigh in Spry Fox's favor, it could be enough to discourage iOS counterfeiting in the future.
[ER 09 via Shutterstock]