iOS and Mac development studio Vimov saw an unpleasant surprise yesterday in the Mac App Store: another developer, Presselite, is selling an application called “Weather HD” in the Mac App Store. The problem is, Weather HD is the popular application the Vimov guys released for the iPhone and iPad, featured multiple times by Apple in the App Store homepage and covered by all the major tech blogs.
The “Weather HD” that’s being sold in the Mac App Store is not affiliated with Vimov in any way – actually, Presselite “stole” the name from Vimov when registering the app’s name in iTunes Connect. This practice is known as name squatting.
The Vimov developers write on their official blog:
They already have the same application for the iPhone as “Weather Live” and for the iPad as “Weather for iPad”, but when it came the Mac’s turn, they managed to steal off the “Weather HD” name.
And it played well for them. In less than 6 hours, the application shot to the Top 10 list of the Mac App Store. Not because it was any good, but because our own Weather HD has a large user base that was interested in trying it out on the Mac. However, their application was, beyond the name, all shit inside, which is why it has garnered negative reviews across the board.
Sadly, this reflects negatively on us, and on the Weather HD name.
We have covered the issues related to name squatting in the early days of the Mac App Store, when developers were trying to register app names in iTunes Connect and submit their apps for approval. Several developers initially reported that many of their apps couldn’t be registered in the Mac App Store, but the problem turned out to be a bug in Apple’s system that didn’t allow for identical app names to be registered across the iOS and Mac App Store. Apple later fixed the issue, but apparently Vimov couldn’t save the name Weather HD for the Mac App Store soon enough.
We feel sorry for Vimov and we hope they’ll find a way to make this right and release the real Weather HD in the Mac App Store soon.
Update: we have received a statement from Presselite about the app’s name issue.
We are already developing Weather applications such as Weather for iPad and Weather Live (iPhone), and we chose the name Weather HD for the Mac version as it is for high resolution screens. “HD” is a common word that is often added at the end of app names, as you may know.
Vimov thinks we are using its name, which is totally false, this name is not their property. We asked Vimov to provide us with the evidence (trademark certification) so we could take the request in consideration, but Vimov was unable to send us such documents confirming their rights on this name. Therefore, Vimov cannot claim a name when they don’t have any rights on it.