The debacle surrounding the removal and subsequent reappearance of Mobigame’s Edge from the App Store following a trademark dispute seems to be catching, with Slide to Play favorite and top scorer Stoneloops! of Jurassica having been pulled from the service this week following a similar tussle with Luxor creator MumboJumbo.
It’s a conflict that focuses on the apparent stark similarity between the two titles. StoneLoops actually beat Luxor to the App Store back in March of this year, but Luxor had previously made its name first on the web.
‘About 3 weeks ago we have learned that MumboJumbo supplied Apple with a formal complaint and a request to remove StoneLoops! from the AppStore,’ Maciej Biedrzycki, one of the creators of StoneLoops, said on his blog. ‘The reason? Infringing Luxor copyright, confusing customers, stealing Luxor’s look and feel and even stealing their source code!
‘This might sound absurd to anyone who knows both games but apparently Apple decided otherwise as we’ve been requested to prepare a formal response, which we did. We described how ungrounded each claim is and supplied various materials to back our claims.’
Regardless of Biedrzycki’s views, the game has since been dropped from the App Store. One of MumboJumbo’s grievances was the fact that searching for Luxor also brings up its main rival StoneLoops as a result, apparently, according to Biedrzycki, because of a review quote used in the app’s blurb comparing the game to MumboJumbo’s own.
Still, the question of just what validity MumboJumbo’s claims have remains, especially when you consider that Luxor is itself regarded by many as a clone of fellow “marble popper” (though not currently available on the App Store) Zuma, which also encountered controversy upon release when the makers of Puzz Loop claimed it “infringed on their own intellectual property”. Like the games themselves, it would seem releasing a marble popper results in an almost never-ending line of claims and counter-claims.
Confused? Things have the potential to get even more complicated as time passes, with the App Store already home to plenty of other marble poppers Luxor could easily be mistaken for to the untrained eye, Bonsai Blast and Tumblebugs to name just a couple. Just what happens if the genre’s other big hitter Zuma ever makes the leap to the iPhone is another hot topic-‘“ one touched on by Bierdrzycki himself in his blog entry-‘“ but whatever happens, this is one battleground worth keeping an eye on over the following months.