No summertime fun: BeachBall rejected

IMG_10360BeachBall was recently rejected by the iPhone Developer Program on the claim that it infringes an Apple trademark image. I’m not surprised by this at all, although I was taken aback by the (relatively) quick response – 7 days.

The usual Guidelines for Using Apple’s Trademarks and Copyrights was quoted:

Apple Logo and Apple-owned Graphic Symbols:

You may not use the Apple Logo or any other Apple-owned graphic symbol, logo, or icon on or in connection with web sites, products, packaging, manuals, promotional/advertising materials, or for any other purpose except pursuant to an express written trademark license from Apple, such as a reseller agreement.

What is frustrating by this clause is the opacity of it. Where can the ownership status of a “graphic symbol, logo, or icon” be determined? A search through the USPTO Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) didn’t turn up anything useful. I’ll be happy to comply with Apple’s demands if I know what the specific claim is.

Several other apps have been rejected on similar grounds, often relating to the use of a rounded rectangle image which Apple claims to infringe on the iPhone / iPod touch trademark.

The beach ball image in the app is “original” art (albeit very close to the OS X spinning wait cursor) in that I created this instance of the graphic. What are the bounds of the graphic symbol’s claim? A circle with a rainbow gradient? Gloss and shadow effect? Five-bladed fan rotating clockwise at “x” rpm? Would a photograph or illustration of a “beach ball” also be deemed to infringe?

Without specific information on the claim any changes I make are likely to be a back and forth shot in the dark. Of course, I knew this going into it, but I welcome a challenge. Where’s the sense of humor? :)

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2 Responses to “No summertime fun: BeachBall rejected”

  1. Justin Says:

    Too bad.. you are always wanted over at Golden Cheetah. ;-)

  2. Mark Liversedge Says:

    C’mon. Who you trying to kid here? To quote you from Jan 13th … “the iphone is missing one of my most beloved relics of os x…the pinwheel”.

    The similarity is deliberate and accurate. And Apple have objected to that.

    I’m no Apple fanboy but don’t let your disappointment cloud your judgement here?

    Cool blog btw.

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