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Hemisphere Games Warns Developers Of Potential iTunes App Store Name-Squatting

Independent developer Hemisphere Games has offered a cautionary tale surrounding its experience with the naming rights for the iPad version of its blob-absorption game Osmos on Apple's App Store.
Independent developer Hemisphere Games has offered a cautionary tale surrounding its experience with the naming rights for the iPad version of its blob-absorption game Osmos on Apple's App Store. According to a post on the Hemisphere blog, the company was told the name Osmos HD was already in use when they tried to upload the iPad version of the game in July. The name Osmos was also taken on Apple's iTunes Connect developer backend, despite no iPad app with either name being available in the App Store, and despite existing versions of Osmos already being available for iPhone and various computer platforms. After uploading their game as "Osmos for iPad" and contacting Apple Support, Hemisphere received a communication from a Russian developer who had claimed the "Osmos" and "Osmos HD" projects in iTunes Connect in March, but had not yet released them to the App Store. Despite Hemisphere's assertion of trademark rights to the name Osmos, the unnamed Russian developer of the other "Osmos" project still requested $1,350 in compensation to release the name for Hemisphere's use, a move Hemisphere referred to as "extortion." The matter was eventually settled when the other "Osmos" project on iTunes Connect disappeared, likely due to an App Store rule that requires a full app to be uploaded 4 months after a project is set as "ready for upload" in the App Store. Still, Hemisphere warns other developers to defend their naming rights on the App Store by adding them to iTunes Connect as early as possible. "The message for all you developers out there is: begin an App Store submission early — perhaps you’ll beat The Russian to it," the blog post concludes.

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