Yesterday, we posted about an issue that had recently gained quite a bit of attention in the App Store world. On Monday, developer Robots Vs. Wizards started a topic in our forums announcing that they had received word from Apple that they would need to change the name of their game Doodle Monster, at the insistence of Doodle Jump creators LimaSky, as it could potentially infringe on a trademark held by them. Assuming that they were in the wrong, Robots Vs. Wizards was ready to change the name of their game so as not to see it pulled off the App Store.

Other developers started chiming into the thread, however, and stated that they had received similar warnings about their own “Doodle” games. Bryan Duke of Acceleroto detailed some additional information pertaining to his own personal situation dealing with the term “Doodle” and how it pertained to LimaSky.

Since Monday this story has quickly created quite a stir on the internet, with a groundswell of support for the independent App Store developers and a whole heaping load of ire towards LimaSky. This was a bit unfair, though not totally unprecedented for the internet, as LimaSky had yet to even comment with their side of the story, and in just a couple of days the lynch mob mentality was in full swing. Last night, Igor Pusenjak of LimaSky released an official statement about the whole debacle over at PocketGamer.biz.

First, and foremost, Pusenjak reports that he has instructed his lawyer to withdraw the complaint notices from Apple. He claims the reason behind the infringement notices were, in fact, defensive.

That notice was sent out largely to protect our Doodle Jump trademark from threats of being canceled by Bryan Duke's big-house law firm. One of their arguments for threatening to cancel our registered Doodle Jump trademark was that we did not prevent other games from using the word 'Doodle'.

Pusenjak further says that they didn't intend to have those games removed from the App Store, but to specifically address potential infringements rather than removal of the games, themselves.

And we have made this clear to every developer who has contacted us -- you don't need to take your game down, but you need to change the infringing elements.

Pusenjak also points out that Bryan Duke was the first to file for the "Doodle" trademark, and that Lima Sky's own "Doodle" registration was to avoid having the trademark used against them. So, it seems some of the legal escalation that occurred was due to misunderstandings and/or mistrust between the two parties. Duke admitted to filing for the "Doodle" trademark first, but he claims it to have been defensive as well:

Just like my lawyer told me, there was no way anyone (except for possibly the very original "Doodle" game) could possibly get awarded the trademark for the word doodle. My lawyer told me the only way to have proof of that was to file for a trademark for the word doodle. To get that proof and the protection from potential opposition from Lima Sky, I did that.

Lima Sky's full statement can be read on PocketGamer.biz. While the merits of each side are still being discussed in our forums, it seems there has been a surprisingly swift and amicable conclusion to this ordeal.

  • Pastingtoxiccheese

    "Let's face it, Lima Sky backed down only to save what's left of their reputation. As soon as the negative remarks started rolling in, they had to back down. If not for the backlash, they would still be pursuing their original intentions (whatever they may have actually been)."

    • http://normalkid.com Arnold Kim

      well, depending on who you believe, their "original intent" was simply to defend their trademark.

      Based on the public statements, it seems one of the arguments against a Doodle Jump trademark was "that [LimaSky] did not prevent other games from using the word 'Doodle'." So, ironically enough, Acceleroto's defense of the possible threat, may have inadvertantly triggered more actions than there had been.

      • Kimchi

        Yeah as many expected, he can easily talk his way out of this.

        It was a win-win situation for Igor. If he wins, he'd kick out the competition in App store searches for "Doodle". If he loses, he can always talk his way out of this. After all he's the nice guy with heartwarming success story who made such a popular and successful game. He was attacked and just wanted to defend his 'super original' game. Smaller guys are always in the wrong for causing all problems in the first place.

        And once again everyone will forget he copied the game idea from Papi Jump and ripped off the character from Q*bert.

      • FastOne

        That's an asinine response from Igor. If your trademark is "Doodle Jump", you don't have to defend it against anything except something that is close to the two words. His actions are only valid if he actually had a trademark just for the word "Doodle". It's all a bit of spin now that he over-reached and earned the ire of the community. Shame on Igor for putting the blame on his lawyer.

      • http://normalkid.com Arnold Kim

        You need to read the statement and my reply more closely. You're still missing the point.

      • Sherrit32

        So what is the point? The trademark is for Doodle Jump, there should never be able to be a trademark on the word Doodle AFTER their are already numerous games on the app store with the name.

        This is nothing more then lawyer speak!!

        The only infringement on the name would be if someone had a game called Doodle Pump or Poodle Jump or something.

        Whats the difference between this and the word EDGE?

        For them a company that copied a free games idea and made millions off of it and also wasn't the first game with the word Doodle in it has no right to be asking any dev to change the name of their game.

        It just goes to show how completely stupid Copyright laws are I guess with this and the EDGE fiasco, you shouldn't be able to Copyright common words like that.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        The point, according to Igor and his statement, is that every Tom Dick and Harry coming out with a "Doodle __________" game could negate his own trademark on "Doodle Jump", thus leaving him with no recourse against a Doodle Jumper, Poodle Pumper, Noodle Humper, or any other number of ripoff titles coming out. Whether or not you think that was his true intention is your own call.

        And I agree the copyright and trademark system is pretty stupid.

      • EastsideStompers

        Noodle Humper, lol: )

      • FastOne

        And if he understood trademark laws (which he should since he obviously has succeeded wildly and it's the weapon he's wielding), he doesn't have to defend his trademark against any ARBITRARY "Doodle _______". Only names that are confusingly similar to his specific trademark. That's it.

        Names like Doodle Jumper would clearly infringe. But Doodle Hockey would not, and trying to make that claim is clearly overreach.

    • Lima's A Bitch

      He's still a little bitch, and the only reason why he's stepping down is because people were boycotting and banning his app from their phones.

  • Matthew

    This is just what he wanted. To be on the front page of TouchArcade and other sites and boost sales. Very very sneaky.

    • Kimchi

      Yeah TouchArcade could've just updated the previous article like they always do on Macrumors (their sister site), but no, they graciously give him another front page first post. Lima Sky=1, TouchArcade=0.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      It's a lengthy follow up post, I don't see any problem having it be separate. It would have been odd tacked onto the previous one. Do you really think there are legions of people who read our site who DON'T know what Doodle Jump is, and due to this specific second post have rushed out to purchase the game? There isn't even a link to the game in this post.

  • UK Sam

    It's idiotic to be able to trademark a single English word. Maybe I'll make a game called The Monster, trademark Monster and sue everyone who uses the word. It's simply pathetic, and have no respect for a company or person does so.

    I will no longer be supporting anything LimaSky makes.

  • backtothis

    Although their true original intent is unknown, it definitely wasn't to gain coverage to boost sales..this game has been in the top 10 for over a year now, and I'm not sure any buyer of apps is unfamiliar with the name. They've made god knows the proportions they have put into the game already.

  • Matt EN

    Instead of focusing on making a better game
    they have to fight over a stupid word or sentence. Talk about focusing on the wrong thing to stay on top. It’s sad really.

  • vimy

    pathetic as this entire fiasco has been, the real issue is why we allow IP and TM t to continue to be used to stiffle developement and give a very biased advantage.

    the entire concept needs to be reviewed by a legal team, devoid of conflict of interest.

    Canadian supreme court is probably the best place to investigate indetail.
    There the only Lawyers without any intrest beside Law.

    No one should have the right to TM a word as comon as Doodle, and this issue is just the TIP of the iceburg when it comes to IP and TM's

  • Jim

    The comments here are really strange. It's almost as if none of the commenters read the blog post they're commenting on.

    • Pauly

      I totally agree. People went off half cocked and over reacted, now it feels like THEY are trying to save face. Cynicism is a poison.

  • JCGaga

    I don't care what Lima Sky's true intentions were with the trademark...just because they have high sales with their game doesn't give them the right to condescendingly tell other developers to change their games' names just to stay in the limelight and reign what is not original to begin with. I deleted Doodle Jump from my phone as I can no longer appreciate it.

  • http://twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott Colbert

    I've read it, and we'll really never know. What his intention was prior to withdrawing the complaint, and what he says now afterwards, are I believe, two totally different things.

  • Jim

    Wow this is a little daunting, commentors here still don't get it...

    "Pusenjak also points out that Bryan Duke was the first to file for the "Doodle" trademark"

    I don't have doodle jump and don't care about the game or the developer but you can see that he wasn't the first one to file for the trademark. In fact, that distinction belonged to one of the developers that was mentioned in the original touch arcade article.

    "Duke admitted to filing for the "Doodle" trademark first, but he claims it to have been defensive as well"

    It's almost as if it doesn't matter what additional information comes out, people just go on with the usual tropes and missives they start out with.

    • Lawnwars

      Look on the USPTO for the unbiased story. You can look at the dates and see what is really happening. Read through the attached opposition articles. Its all there in B&W. Get the facts and decide for yourself. I think you might be surprised.

      http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=91196645

      • Jim

        I definitely want to keep an open mind and be flexible. with that in mind, I read through the aforementioned documents. They do show quite a bit going on, among other things, they show Bryan Duke applying for the patent and Lima Sky opposing their patent.

        So far, it looks as if they follow-up touch arcade article basically got things right and that Lima Sky was in large measure defending itself against what it saw as Bryan Duke applying for a patent that could affect them.

        After reading through the documents, do you see things differently? If so, what in the document trail led you to this belief? I have no vested interest in any of this but so far it looks as if Lima Sky defending itself against someone else filing a patent.

      • vimy

        if what your saying is acurate, it does not account for why all doodle titles recieved warnings to change there names

        there is more at play than what has been anounced by the legal temas

        at any rate, it is irrelevant, the damage has been done and thankfully the complaints have been withdrawn.

        Still, I hope that the issue will stir some debate in the US over IP and TM. If that happens, then we can score this as a victory for all

  • darthsparrow

    Let's take a short 1 minute trip to the App Store and check out Doodle Jump's description, part of which is reproduced here:

    Laugh with delight as Doodle™ blows past other players' actual score markers scribbled in the margins. And be warned: this game is insanely addictive.

  • raoupp

    Are these comments for real?

  • Purplemonkeyspank

    Why all the fuss? I can see why the makers of doodle jump may be concerned. It's pretty confusing having all these "doodle" this and that games. If anything the other developers are, in a way, piggybacking off the success of doodle jump!

  • Gaffman

    Seems like an awful lot of hysteria over a common slang term for male genitalia

  • JC

    Yes, LimaSky might have fight back to defend itself when trying to register the word Doodle. But it was a bad move to ask other devs to change the name off their apps with legal thread. Anyway, I don't think this will affect their sales a slightest. With the huge numbers they are pulling 99.99% of their players will never heard of this story.

    • Allen

      LimaSky is not trying to register the word Doodle. They are trying to defend against their existing trademark for "Doodle Jump". If you don't defend your trademark, you risk losing the trademark. A legal threat is how you defend your trademark.

      • JC

        Well, asking other games to be renamed isn't defending their trademark. Like you said, they don't own the trademark DOODLE. If I make a game call "Doodle Pumj", then yes, they have ground to complain, not if I call my game "Doodle Thingy".

      • FastOne

        Yes they are. Lima Sky are trying to register just the word "Doodle". Look it up in the US Patent & Trademark Office: uspto.gov

  • Rich

    I remember when MC Hammer pushed a certain product. Public reaction was 'sell out'... it hurt his career. Yet, nowadays it is commonplace for a celebrity to push a product. Igor is protecting his product, plain and simple. We bash him now, but soon enough, you will not be able to use the word Angry in a mobile game. And we'll all be ok with it.

    • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

      exactly what i was thinking, "angry" will soon be a forbidden word in app store...

  • Festival

    Please read the longer version- it's so full of contradictions.

    Igor, your lawyer know why he told you not to talk about it :-)

  • IPs Exciting

    ...did any of you who are still yelling at the Doodle Jump people actually read this article?

    Basically, Bryan Duke tried to have Lima Sky's trademark on "Doodle" canceled because Lima Sky was not enforcing its trademark over the word.

    To prevent Bryan Duke from successfully canceling the trademark, Lima Sky did, indeed, attempt to enforce its trademark over the word by issuing warnings to other games to remove the word "Doodle" from their titles.

    Thus, from my understanding of things, Bryan Duke antagonized Lima Sky into enforcing its trademark for fear of losing it altogether.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      That's not how it went down according to Bryan. Igor asked him to change Doodle Hockey's name before it was even released. Read this post for more: http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpost.php?p=1535665&postcount=136

      • IPs Exciting

        In fact, it is what he said in the post. Igor contacted him in an email prior to the situation simply suggesting Bryan Duke "consider changing the name of that app because he thought it infringed on his trademark." But, I'm pretty sure this was a casual request, as opposed to legal action.

        Duke then says, "My lawyer told me the only way to have proof of that was to file for a trademark for the word doodle. To get that proof and the protection from potential opposition from Lima Sky, I did that."

        The most likely situation is that in Duke's attempt to file for the trademark for the word "Doodle," his lawyer tried to protect him by further attempting to cancel the Lima Sky trademark "Doodle Jump" with the claim that they don't try to remove other games from the App Store.

  • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

    umm i might just trademark "Doodoo" for my next game....

  • Ivanfas

    I'm sorry, but I can't avoid the feeling that the true enemy here is Apple. They charge 30% from the developer, just to let them fight over a matter that they could easily intervened.

    This policy "we let the developers resolve their thing, and we take your game out of the store if they don't" just shows how you're well represented by the guy that takes 30% of your revenue.

    Shame...

    • vimy

      do you really think a multi billion dollar company like apple wants to ruiin its name in a legal war between a bunch of small timers.

      it could potentially cost millions in lawsuits and create all kinds of bad blood.
      just look at this case for example.

      there smart, they will keep out of the debate and act as impartial retailer.

    • LeeDot

      Sure Apple takes a 30% cut but that's for use of the distribution and use of the platform they built. If you go to a store that carries to brands of cookies that are having a legal dispute over trade mark do you expect that store to mediate the dispute?

  • Anonymous

    Everyone that names their game "Doodle ____" knows they're trying to ride on the coat tails of a popular game. There's a dozen other names they could use besides Doodle.

    • EastsideStompers

      And I say, what's wrong with that? I suppose thy could call it 'A rough drawing made absentmindedly' game, but somehow it doesn't have the same ring...

    • FastOne

      Doodle Jump was not the first game with "Doodle". The game may have popularized it, but I'm fairly certain doodle games would come to dominate the iOS platform. Why? The platform is ripe for that kind of simple graphics considering how many indie developers there are.

  • Objection

    Unless you want to look like an asshole, never take the advice of Lawyers unless its passive, they are not in Marketing, they are do not care about your trademarks or brands, they only want to look for "services" they can provide to you for a fee... case and point, see above!

    Oh same applied to a divorce, you just watch how the relationship gets worse when a Lawyer gets involved!

  • Aros2k

    Oh what a suprise they spin the facts so it sounds like they were in the right

  • http://twitter.com/iTouchAppReview iTouchAppReviewers

    Who cares. Now I hate Lima Sky. I don't care how many times they try to say they're sorry. They did it, saw it wasn't worth it, and then backed out. OR maybe they did it for the attention. Who cares. PapiJump is better anyway. LimaSky, t-_-.

    • Cowboysfreetyme

      Are you ten? Do you know what it means to "hate." You probably don't and say that you "hate" Lima Sky because they tried to do something that had absolutely no direct impact on your life. Very mature.

  • Onehitwonda

    Ive just filed a trademark request for the word zombie. I'm gonna fucking clean up.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Onehitwonda

    Ive just filed a trademark request for the word zombie. I'm gonna fucking clean up.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Doodle

    Igor is a corporate shmuck, he emailed us as well regarding the name of our app.
    Looks like he’s been bugging other devs as well. Make a better game, that’s how you defend yourself.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, he's full of crap. He says that he doesn't want app developers to have to change anything, and that it was only because he was "forced by his lawyer" to do this to keep his trademark application... And then he contradicts himself by saying "You need to remove your infringing elements". Basically "I take it back, just kidding, not my fault... BUT still guys stay away, I've got a trademark." He's proved to Duke that he defends his claim. He could just forget it all. But... vanity and greed prevails.

  • Theidiotshavetakenover

    What about apps where the word "jump" is used? are they at risk as well????? IMO Lima sky are a one hit wonder, and a lucky one at that.

  • Theidiotshavetakenover

    What about apps where the word "jump" is used? are they at risk as well????? IMO Lima sky are a one hit wonder, and a lucky one at that.