We've been following this confusing development for a few days now which originally started on our forums where an increasing number of developers are receiving notice that they're violating Lima Sky's trademark on the word "Doodle" by having various titles on the App Store with "Doodle" in their names. Lima Sky is responsible for the wildly popular jumping game Doodle Jump [99¢], and its success also likely spurred the (now incredibly cliche) barrage of similarly styled doodle games. Bryan Duke of Acceleroto posted a fantastic synopsis from a developer's perspective of what has been happening.

In a nutshell, Lima Sky has just barely enough legal ammo to lean on Apple to get similar games removed. From there, Apple sends out a letter to the developer of the game in question, and they have five days to respond or else their game gets yanked off the App Store. 148 Apps recently confirmed Lima Sky's intentions by receiving a form response back from their legal team explaining that they are in fact claiming a trademark on the word "doodle" and are looking to have any games with "doodle" in the title changed (or removed, from the looks of it).

Where things get interesting is that while Doodle Jump is a ton of fun, calling it an "original" game couldn't be more of a stretch. Its gameplay is based on PapiJump [Free], and developers have been releasing video games with a hand-drawn styled "doodle" art for years before Doodle Jump. It wasn't the first game with "doodle" in its title either, as Adrian Cummings of Mobile Amusements pointed out on our forums, they originally released Doodle Bug in 1992, and plan on bringing it to the App Store.

We're as tired of "doodle" games as everyone else, but any way you slice it this is a very depressing move from Lima Sky. We had Igor of Lima Sky on our podcast, and frankly, his tale of how his company began with him and his brothers making video games for fun was incredibly heartwarming. Having them turn on fellow indie developers a year later exercising trademarks which seem shaky at best is incredibly disappointing.

For more information on all this legal drama, and to follow along with developers under the legal hammer of Lima Sky as they deal with it on their end, stop by the thread on our forums.

Update: Lima Sky responds and withdraws the their legal complaints.

  • Poedonk

    This just makes such little sense. I can't see who wins in this case, it seems like it'll only hurt sales.

    • Andy

      I agree, they will certainly lose sales... But they probable don't give a crap now with all the money they have made so far.

      I mean it's a bit rich that they rip off PapiJump, make a load of money, then with that money copyright the word doodle - my God, there were games with the word doodle on the App Store, long before doodle jump. What a bunch of greedy f*ckers!

    • rongwrong

      Twitter protest: http://j.mp/fCjR3o #DeleteDoodleJump

      • Anonymous

        There's no such thing as bad publicity. I ripped that off, by the way.

  • Festival

    Let's face it. They have no TM for "Doodle"

  • thewiirocks

    I'm tempted to release a game called "Doodle in the Sky with Lima Beans". The goal? Keep doodling lima beans to survive! Hmm... not such a bad idea, actually...

    Anyone interested in such a game? (*evil grin*)

  • Tans

    Very sad! Indie devs who let money get to them... "and the 2011 award for bad publicity goes too..."

  • http://www.appfreakblog.com appfreak

    Very sad, specially when even Apple made a section dubbed "Best Doodle Games on the AppStore. Under trademark laws, it is all about the first to register the name, not the first game released, but does these laws apply internationally? I doubt it...

    • thewiirocks

      Strictly speaking, that's not true. Trademark rights are independent of registration. Let's say McDonald's has failed to register their mark and I registered it for my tiny hamburger stand. If I sued McDonald's, I would lose the case, lose the mark, have to pay McDonald's for their lawyer's time, AND probably get smacked with punitive damages by the judge.

      In all reality, this is not a wise move by Lima Sky. Should any of these authors call Lima's bluff, Lima will be in deep doo-doo.

      • vimy

        funny you should mention Mcd's
        They were actually in some legal trouble in the UK over who owns the name and rights after the tried toi sue a local restaurant over the use and got counter sued by the head of the Clan Macdonald, (yes its a scotish clan)
        I believed Mcd's was forced to settle both cases or change its name globaly

  • GodSon

    What a very low move. I don't own Doodle Jump because it's not appealing in the least bit to me but respected its numbers as well as following. After hearing this...um...wow. Lima Sky really lost what little respect I had...

  • http://twitter.com/afaehnle Andrew Faehnle

    They should hire Tim Langdell to do their PR.

  • Adams Immersive

    What about an art program with Doodle in the name? What about a game with a character named Doodle? How far will they go?

    P.S. I don’t like the doodle look. There, I got that off my chest!

  • Scott0304

    Wow, give the cow a little money and it turns into a pig.

    I liked Doodle Jump, but these idiots seem like they are getting a bit too big for their granny panties.

    How about copyrighting the right to copyright? - Maybe that would be a great one for Lima
    (By the way, all of their other games are incredibly horrible - just goes to show many things about them - DOODLE jump was an accident)

  • http://twitter.com/Flowermilk Flowermilk

    Way to go Touch Arcade! I'm glad you mentioned Paijump. If only people would just boycot Doodle Jump (which is a mediocre game anyway) altogether and buy Papijump instead that would be hilarious.

  • http://bit.ly/spacewolves Dylan

    iPhone on... Holding DoodleJump icon down.... wobbles with 'x' icon.... DELETE.
    That'll learn em.

    • Guest

      Except for the part where they already made money off it from you...

      • Sticktron

        And the fact that you can't "learn" someone something.

  • Eev

    doodle jump is so so game, and i think a lot of people, as i did, bought it only because it is in the top10. never understood such all that hype and high rating of this game.

    • Rschwart

      Yup, bought it because of the hype, played it and thought it sucked.

  • Edward23

    Pathetic. Way to ruin the spirit of indie games.

  • Andy

    Not sure if this is correct... but if you read some of their 1star reviews they have been accused of data mining, and selling that info to 3rd parties.

    I think there was an article in the Wall Street Journal naming certain Apps that do this. And I am sure Apple have pulled Apps for doing this in the past.

    • Andy

      I hear that Lima Sky also eats little children at night!

      • vimy

        strange Andy
        i'VE HEARD THAT TOO

  • TheTheory

    I'm pretty peeved about this. If "Edge" was ridiculous, than "doodle" is equally so. I mean, kudos to DoodleJump for the constant updates and all that jazz, but lets keep the dick moves to a minimum, mmkay?

  • http://hackmodford.wordpress.com/ Hackmodford

    I think I understand where they're coming from.

    Stuff like doodle race, doodle this, doodle that, etc. Are just blatant copies of the name doodle jump.

    I don't think that the word doodle should be banned just the context it's being used as. It's like having a game called super pario bros. with a similar art style to the game we all know I'm talking about.

    So yeah... I'm onboard with them but I can see where this could get out of hand...

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CRFKB2LX7RTVABC6ICU4MCJFNQ jd

      Doodle is more of a theme that represents freehand type graphics. To assume people using Doodle to rip off Doodle Jump is very narrow minded of you. And as mentioned, they ripped off Papi Jump to begin with. There were also games with Doodle in the title before Doodle Jump.

      • FastOne

        They also ripped off the main Q*Bert character. Just google Q*Bert and you'll see the resemblance is uncanny.

        So an unoriginal developer who copied the main character and the game mechanic is now trying to stop other indie devs from using using the word "Doodle". Ironic, no?

  • SpriteAttack

    'Doodle' is a word in the English language just like 'Edge'... Being able to copyright a word is just plain wrong... It's different with 'artifical' words or slogans... but common words... come on... This is just plain ridiculous... Let's trademarke 'i' - iSniper, iShooter, ithis and ithat... It's just another greedy troll showing it's face....

    • Tim

      yet, somehow at least two companies were successfully able to trademark "apple", another word in the English language.

      • thewiirocks

        Trademarks are specific to the market segment. If you sold fruit from trees, then trademarking "Apple" would be a no-no. But since there is very little fruit to be found in silicon and sound waves, the term "Apple" is unique.

        When it comes to artwork (for a video game, granted), "doodle" hardly holds any uniqueness. The laws over generic terms come into play here. And if Lima somehow convinces a judge that "doodle" is not generic, they'll have a hellva time proving that prior claims on the term are invalid.

      • vimy

        not correct Tim

        Apple Computers is trademarked, or apple store etc

        the word apple is not eligible for trademark unless in reference to the company.

        allthough I have not reviewed the trademark for Doodle, I assume it refers strictly to apps.

        I would however invite the first person who used the word doodle in the app store to contest this as he-she clearly can make a case that they own the IP and not the Doodle Jump people.

        it would be poetic justice for doodle Jump to be force a name change or ban. Clearly they were not the first and if you can demonstrate that you can take the TM

      • MatthewF

        Lima Sky's registration and actions were, effectively, in response to Acceleroto's trademark filing of "Doodle Hockey" three months earlier, which threatened their use of "Doodle" as the name of their character.

        The whole thing is remarkably messed up. Note that Igor has retracted his request to Apple.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of the people who got Stone Loops of Jurassica banned from the app store, even though Luxor ripped off Zuma, and Zuma ripped off something else!

    Despicable!

  • Bob Corrigan

    This smells like something an investor made them do.

    • vimy

      this is hat we call an MBA move.

    • vimy

      this is hat we call an MBA move.

  • Shatnershairpiece

    Makes me even happier I never bought into the hype surrounding this ridiculously overrated and overselling game.

  • Jenkum

    So they've already made ridiculous amounts of money off a extremely simple copy cat game with a copy cat name and now they want to bully anyone else from using the word doodle??? greedy greedy idiots!!! I call boycott on all lima sky products!

    Its a real shame the App store audience isn't informed enough to care and make a boycott happen! the App store is a breeding ground for things like this to happen, there may be a community surrounding it but its nothing in comparison to the mindless purchases people make every day, they're the ones making the odd dev too much money not us.

    My guess is they'll lean on the small devs to get rid of a few "Doodles" but they won't go to court cos they can't win and a boycott won't happen cos theres not enough of us who care! Its sad but true!

    • FastOne

      Leave a bad review like I and others did. Some people do care about such things when they read reviews.

  • BBD

    I wish Doodle Jump held any appeal for me whatsoever, so I could not purchase it on principle. Instead I don't purchase it because it looks stupid and boring. I suppose I'll have to reserve my righteous indignation for a potential future Lima Sky release if they come up with anything interesting.

  • Bo

    I think i should give them this book i have filled with doodles, i don't want people getting confused

  • sog

    Someone should exploit this before it gets "patched" so to speak, I plan to copyright as many words as possible and, through a series of harrowing legal battles, secure millions at a cost to all!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1207038244 Ron Goodrich

    Yay for personal blacklists!

  • Blackharon

    *Looks at the Mega Jump advertisement on the right*

    Careful guys, you may have to pull that app next! *rolls eyes*

  • Matthew

    As a developer I lost all respect for this guy.

  • rongwrong

    Whether you like Doodle Jump or not, if this situation cheeses you off as much as it does me, let's start a boycott.

    1. Delete it from your iDevice.
    2. If you actually liked it, download the free PapiJump instead.
    3. Retweet this: http://j.mp/fCjR3o or tweet the #DeleteDoodleJump hashtag.

    Just an idea. What they're doing is so bad in so many ways and essentially we are the ones who pay their wages. So let's send them a message!

    • Dammmitjoey

      Could everyone shut up about Doodle Jump being a PapiJump clone. To say that is just like saying Sonic is a mario clone. Papi Jump doesn't have shooting, springs, jet packs, specific level designs(soccer update) or much else for that matter. Its a simple game where you jump to the highest score. Even though it has added more content through updates as doodle jump had improved on the gameplay mechanics when it had released.

      • vimy

        hmmm
        Jump
        I should trade mark that word,
        thanks for the info, will call my lawyer right away,

      • JrHicklevator

        when you say "gameplay mechanics" did you mean tilt a to move a boingy thing?

      • rongwrong

        I didn't say that Doodle Jump is a PapiJump clone. And even if it were, I wouldn't have a problem with that.

        I only mentioned it as a free alternative to anyone who wanted to delete Doodle Jump but still wanted to play that sort of game.

      • FastOne

        Nice try, Doodle Jump dev or shill.

  • Tinkersfart

    When the glory (and sales) wane try stupid legal actions. Boo Lima Sky. Erased and future Lima-endeavours ignored. Doodle Flashlight app now being developed.

  • A reader

    Ironically they go after the word "doodle" when there are so many other creative jumping games out there - Mega Jump and Froggy Jump Come to mind. Oh wait - will they try to copyright the word "jump" next?

    Doodle doodle doodle --- oops better get my lawyer on speed dial.

    But seriously I respected them as a part of this community, little guy hits the big time and all. Now, not so much. I guess success really does go to ones head sometimes.

  • A reader

    Ironically they go after the word "doodle" when there are so many other creative jumping games out there - Mega Jump and Froggy Jump Come to mind. Oh wait - will they try to copyright the word "jump" next?

    Doodle doodle doodle --- oops better get my lawyer on speed dial.

    But seriously I respected them as a part of this community, little guy hits the big time and all. Now, not so much. I guess success really does go to ones head sometimes.

  • Anonymous

    The Angry Birds folks should trademark "Angry". And "Birds".

    • FastOne

      They probably already have trademarked "Angry Birds". They can't trademark "Angry" or "Birds" by itself though. This is what Lima Sky is trying to do, and will not succeed since Doodle is too generic and descriptive. They're only going to succeed in pissing off a bunch of devs and users.

  • EastsideStompers

    Talk about ruining the party! I enjoyed Doodle Jump quite a bit, but this type of behaviour is a total put off for me, and many others apparently. How about sharing out your already substantial success by letting others have a little of your Doodle cake and eat it, instead of joining the ranks of twonkers the likes of Langdell. How utterly selfish!

  • http://www.facebook.com/austinohalloran Austin O'Halloran

    Thank you! The amount of horrible titles that stuck 'doodle' in the name was sickening. Please put and end to it!

    • vimy

      i am sorry Mr O,
      I have trademarked both, "Austin' and 'Halloran'

      Please change your name in 5 business days or face legal action.

    • Seanparkerfilms

      I agree that it needed to stop, but to this extent? Not so much.

      No one should need to register ridiculous copyrights and bring threats of lawsuits into the picture over a really, really trifling matter. Honestly, I think this is less about protecting their intellectual property and more of a moneymaking scheme to kick out the competition in App store searches for "Doodle".

      No more dick moves, rich developers!

  • Aros2k

    I really hope everyone hates Lima Sky now as much as they do the Edge TM guy. Wouldn't be unhappy to see the developers close their doors at all now.

  • Sl1pstream

    This reminded me that I haven't reviewed Doodle Jump yet. I guess I'll do that now. :)

  • vimy

    I would like to announce that I, Vimy, have trademarked the letter, 'A' and the word 'THE'

    Please cease and desist all usage of these two TM products or face liability

    Thank You for your cooperation.

    IP has become so convoluted, I have long since felt the concept needs to be addressed and reformed by Law makers to restore some semblance of sanity and aceptability by the public, or be banned outright.

  • ndre

    oh gosh!
    way to disappoint your customers by becoming the new Langdell, Igor. Well done.

  • Aros2k

    Stand up and be counted, tweet @LimaSky how you feel. Morons are tweeting their support, they should know how people really feel

  • Aros2k

    Stand up and be counted, tweet @LimaSky how you feel. Morons are tweeting their support, they should know how people really feel

  • Anonymous

    And still no iPad version of Doodle Jump... These guys are flushing money down the drain. Remember when the iPad came out there were articles about how they bought one the first day to start making it?

    Off to make a new app "Doodle Edge"

  • Backtothis

    My first paid deleted from my 600+ paid app collection from iTunes. Pieces of trash.

    Let's have a toast for the douchebags.

  • jase

    These Lima Sky people are scum, plain and simple. I call on everyone to boycott them from now on.

  • Eugekava

    Doodle Edge. Someone please make that game.

  • Leopardgecko

    I used to have respect for these guys. Now, not so much. Might email them, although that probably wouldn't do anything.

  • http://twitter.com/iTouchAppReview iTouchAppReviewers

    What a load of sh*t. Lima Sky, if you are reading this, you guys suck. No more app reviews for you. Stop acting like little kids trying to copyright generic words. Go ahead, co[yright "Doodle Jump", but "Doodle"... srsly? t-_- Never buying anything Lima Sky. PapiJump FTW!

    **ALSO, couldnt ppl name their games "Dooodle ____"? 3 "o"s ;) if they get this passed.

    • http://twitter.com/iTouchAppReview iTouchAppReviewers

      Edit: This isn't a matter of Copyrighting, but rather Trademarking. Sorry for my mistake.

  • alex

    doodle jump is far from original

    this is sad. typical tale of a small company getting too big and then getting greedy and trying to f the smaller guys. f lima sky. i hope people boycott their apps

  • Anonymous

    This is just sad. I never bought Doodle Jump because it didn't interest me in the slightest, but I did at least cheer for the "little guy" when it gained such popularity and made Lima Sky one of the few early developers who made a wad of cash on the still-nascent App Store. Now I have nothing but contempt for Igor. He really is pulling a Tim Langdell here, and it is an ethically bankrupt, highly avaricious, utterly self-serving and legally specious move on his part. Should they release anything that even remotely interests me in the future, they can continue to count on not getting my money no matter how good it is.

  • alex

    i decided i'm going to copyright the word "jump" and sue LIma Sky. I think I'll sue Van Halen while i'm at it. ridiculous

  • Sherrit32

    Totally disgusted to hear this news, after all the crap over EDGE. Lima Sky has the nerve to do this? There game ain't original, the name isn't either and the game is way overrated as it is. They should count their blessing the game sold as much as it did.

    Hope Karma bites them in the you know what big time!!! Wont ever buy from them period! As someone else said judging from their other games Doodle Jump seems like a mistake more then anything lol.

    • Sherrit32

      I would also encourage anyone to delete the app if they have it still and 1 star review it!

  • Soraxsky

    I encourage everyone to never buy from Lima Sky again. And in turn, once this legal battle is over and they lose, everyone create a stupid app (there's alot as there is, yes) and put the word Doodle in it. That'll learn 'em.

    • EastsideStompers

      That'll 'teach' them ; )

  • Ernisj2005

    everybody ask for refund, this would hurt most :D

  • |Drifter|

    Downrate Doodle Jump on iTunes...can I say that, it has Doodle in it...damn I said it again

  • Notthevictim

    The Papi Jump devs should trademark the word Jump and get Doodle Jump taken down.

  • http://www.cocoabugs.blogspot.com jeeva

    totally under mess..
    http://www.cocoabugs.blogspot.com