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App Store Wars: Taking the Fun Out of Flatulence [U]

After we ran a story about two competing applications, NJection Mobile and Trapster, another iPhone developer has stepped up to expose what he sees as unethical and immoral tactics being used by his competition.

Air-o-matic makes Pull My Finger (iTunes link), which sells for $0.99. Competing developers InfoMedia Inc, make iFart Mobile (iTunes link), which also sells for $0.99. In a nuthsell, Air-o-matic is accusing InfoMedia of unethical tactics used to gain traction in the app store, which they are in turn profiting from.

Adversely, as VentureBeat has pointed out, Infomedia has now asked a federal judge in Colorado to determine that “pull my finger” as a phrase, does not fall under common trademark laws. Infomedia’s Joel Comm attempts to explain the situation on his personal blog, and has made the legal papers publicly available (PDF). Keep in mind this is from one side of the argument.

What Apple can do about situations like this remains unknown. After all, business is business and reviews can’t necessarily be moderated by humans unless they are proven to be fake. Directly slanderous motives such as writing negative reviews on what is seemingly a third party site (when it’s not), should definitely be punishable. Since Apple has chosen to run the App Store like a high scale application boutique with which they choose what happens, they should be able to intervene when spamming, and unethical behavior is accused, not after it has already been proven.

Air-o-matic’s legal team has sent letters to both Apple and InfoMedia in the hopes that this gets sorted out. We don’t mean to open Pandora’s box with these reports, however, unethical and slanderous behavior in the App Store should be brought to light, especially when people are profiting from it.

The video below explains everything from Air-o-matic’s point of view. They are speaking in the video (turn up speakers) as they explain the alleged unethical tactics used by InfoMedia. The video has been pulled due to the ongoing legal tussle.

Update: Air-o-matic got in touch to share their side of their story too. Good timing, the video below was made prior to the story going public, we saw it… But it was then pulled due to confusion and guidance from lawyers. Air-o-matic in general didn’t want to risk both apps getting banned and this hindering their business further. However, after recent allegations from both sides, they’ve gone ahead and made the video available to view. Here’s a direct link to “their side of the story.”

Comments [2]

2 Comments to “App Store Wars: Taking the Fun Out of Flatulence [U]

Sam @ February 14th, 2009 at 8:37 pm
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Hi Aviv,

This is Sam from Pull My Finger. We’ve gone ahead and posted our side of the story. It’s here:




Aviv @ February 15th, 2009 at 11:58 pm
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Thanx Sam, the post has been updated.