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Apple removes game after Chinese company cloned, trademarked, requested takedown (reddit.com)
1276 points by mastazi 24 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 325 comments



There is a lot of misinformation about the situation here, mainly because of the misleading title. The game created by the Chinese company is not a clone of the game created by Playsaurus.

Here is the game created by Playsaurus: http://www.clickerheroes2.com

Here is the game created by the Chinese company: http://m.7k7k.com/android/11525.html

The games look nothing alike. The dispute is about the title of the game "Clicker Heroes", specifically the Chinese translation of this title "点击英雄". A Chinese company created a game with this (rather generic) name and filed a trademark for the name.

The company was granted the trademark because they were first to file for the trademark and China trademark law works on a first-to-file basis. The same law applies in many countries (including countries in the EU). Playsaurus made a mistake not filing for the trademark in China before and was punished for that mistake.

The actual controversy here has nothing to do with Chinese law or the Chinese company. The controversy is that Apple took down the game in all regions despite them only violating the trademark in China.


It may not be a clone of Clicker Heroes, but it does appear to be extremely close (visually) to Tap Titans:

点击英雄: http://n.7k7kimg.cn/m00/6f/37/01b6d018a2f7485ea9de55f4b02bf2...

Tap Titans: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BfZpbHHc_htTbIla-wzdj1BFtS...


And it also seems that many of the character designs are copied from Warcraft3 / DotA.


The Chinese link leads to a 403 Forbidden message.


Depends on your ISP it seems - here's a mirror: https://imgur.com/kW2GnJH


Strange, it was working for me early (it appears to only load if you got go to 7k7k.com first). The image RIMR linked to is the same.


Same 403 for me, but TOR Browser was allowed.


You've linked Clicker Heroes 2, not the original game.

This is the game that should be compared to the Chinese title: https://www.clickerheroes.com/

It's correct to say that the Chinese game is more directly a reskinned clone of Tap Titans, but Tap Titans itself began as a gameplay clone of Clicker Heroes. The visual layout is different but my understanding is the gameplay was virtually identical, at least at launch.

It makes sense that a Chinese mobile game company wanting to quickly clone and profit from the success of Clicker Heroes in 2015 would end up reskinning Tap Titans because Tap Titans was a Clicker Heroes clone that was available on mobile even while Clicker Heroes itself was still only available on PC.

It seems clear the Chinese company realized the connection between Tap Titans and Clicker Heroes, which is why they chose to steal the name Clicker Heroes for their clone of a clone.


The game is an exact copy of Tap Titans. Clicker Heroes is popular in Steam so they may copy the name as well


Looks like they just called it "Click Hero".


Woah woah woah. I get it not everyone is an expert on this subject, but what makes you say it's not a clone? It looks pretty similar to me. Clicker Heros is a well known game in this genre. One look, and you would know immediately "this is a clone of Clicker Heros". Lots of games copy it, piecemeal or whole horse.

Maybe that's irrelevant and maybe not. But I don't think you can simply dismiss it.


You should update your comment to include the original Clicker Heroes by Playsaurus. What you've presently linked to is the sequel, which is radically different in terms of both look and gameplay.


Something isn't adding up with the devs explanation of the situation. He claims they have trademarks for Clicker Heroes in US and EU, so why would Apple be removing the game worldwide.

https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/bs6n3l/apple_remov...


I think that's exactly the controversy, no? It appears they removed the game from all regions despite only violating a trademark in China.


[flagged]


This screenshot of 点击英雄 http://n.7k7kimg.cn/m00/6f/37/01b6d018a2f7485ea9de55f4b02bf2... implies a completely different gameplay compared to Clicker Heroes http://www.onrpg.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Clicker-Hero...

Edit: but the resemblance to Tap Titans is uncanny: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BfZpbHHc_htTbIla-wzdj1BFtS...

It looks like they cloned one game and trademarked it under the name of another.


Maybe the creator of Tap Titans had a different Chinese name that was already trademarked? Or is 点击英雄 a reasonable translation for Tap Titans?


If the game wasn't cloned (that is, copied 1 for 1), then title isn't misleading, it's actually a complete lie.

Half of the comments here are talking about IP theft, when it just becomes a trademark dispute.


The game in question is Clicker Heroes (a pretty popular idle/incremental game), and the post is by the CEO of Playsaurus.

From the thread:

> It looks like we can't challenge it. After reading the comments and doing a bit more research, it appears that China's trademark/IP laws are completely different from any Western countries, and Apple just has to do what they say.

>It sucks but that's how it is. If you make a game, unless you have ridiculous resources to spend on registering properly in China in advance, you just have to accept China to be a loss. Someone there will steal it.


WTO TRIPS and current political environment offer some options.


It is the same with all other Brand Name and Trademark, from Muji [1], ICHIRAN, New Balance, Nike. There are thousands of similar case. May be China's trademark / Brand Name dispute is something new in the tech world, but it has been going on for many many years.

[1] https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Company-in-focus/Muji-Japan...


after reading comments (reddit?) and researching they conclude it can't be challenged? how about hire lawyers? I wouldn't be surprised if they can fight this from US or wherever non-China country they are based in. for example, what happens if you try to trademark this name in US now?


If you were talking 200-300/day revenue would you hire lawyers? It's in that zone where you have to seriously consider


maybe not, maybe yes. $200 for 1 hour session where the lawyer explains me the options isn't too far fetched. that is the world we live in. you need money to sue. what I wouldn't do is post on reddit and try to start a pitchfork mob by telling only part of the story and screaming "China bad".


I had a company rip off my work last year (Udemy) and sell it to 12,000 students and I didn't see a dime of the 2.4 million they supposedly sold it full price for. Even though I know they didn't make that type of money, I had a legitimate claim for damages. Even still, attorneys will not talk to you for free. I was the number one story on Reddit when this happened and still, attorneys cost money and it's much easier to get what you want via the pitchfork mob to be honest, that's how my viewers took it to Udemy and they immediately took action. In this case, nobody in the industrialized world should be okay with the way China deals with trademarks.


Yes you can't battle it out with a gov or a big company that steals your work. That is the real problem. There should be a pitchfork mob to fix that.

What also sucks is someone starting a fake pitchfork mob on reddit and ruining your business/youtube channel or getting you fired. Not saying this is the case now, but if they are successful then it just encourages more to try it and some will just exploit it.

P.S. I find it weird that you personally got ripped off by Udemy (an american company, right?) and can't fight back (other than on reddit), yet now you blame the entire China for this trademark dispute. Did you also blame the entire US and campaigned for the "industrialized world" to blacklist the US?


The United States legal system is a mess and companies such as Udemy are protected by the DMCA unless you can really prove systemic copyright violation (by design as in Megaupload) ect...


There isn't a lawyer in the world that can reliably answer that question in 1 hour that would only charge $200 for that hour.


A good IP / trademark lawyer will cost $1,000/hr BUT no lawyer will meet you for an hour. They don't have any answer, need to do some research that is why they will ask for a $50K retainer. And at the end you will be $50K poorer. Sure they will send a "scary letter" to the offending party, blabla, but don't fall in that trap. You will get nothing.


> $200 for 1 hour session where the lawyer explains me the options

Is that all it costs for a lawyer who specializes in Chinese copyright law in America?


He doesn't need a specialist lawyer from the start. He might need one if he actually sues. But just for advice you can get some general trademark lawyer.

It's not even clear what is the best place to fight this. I actually think it's not in China but in the US. They already have a trademark in the US and Apple is a US company. Why did they already assume they need to fight this in China and conclude based on "comments" and "research" that it's a lost cause. It's Apple that deleted their game not China.


Wait, so the advice is to start a legal fight with Apple on the cheap?


the advice is to talk to a lawyer and find out what to do, if they should sue, and if so, if this is a case they can win. then based on that response they can decide what steps to take next.

if the lawyer recommends suing apple in the US based on their US trademark and that they have a good chance of winning then the next question is if they can afford to get started.

i can also imagine that a stern letter from a lawyer may let apple realize that they made a mistake in removing the game outside of china.


It could equally well be "it looks like they didn't infringe on us; or that they have more rights to the mark than us", so a climb down without losing face?? I'm not saying it is, but there's probably little way for most of us to know, you need to know IP law and Chinese, and the Chinese legal system.

>if you try to trademark this name in US now? //

If you try to register it now you'll find it's registered to Playsaurus, http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4803:qzv... (serial no. 86389199; int. class. 041).


[dead]


America and the rest of the world. Why should we deal with a closed economy when they do whatever they want in our countries.


It is a wonder we talk all about huawei but accept they can block google, Facebook, Whatsapp, ... it is just ok they can do whatever they want in their countries as well as others. But not Eu, American, .... china is just great.


You need to read the details more carefully. Playsaurus messed up:

1. They launched in China without registering a trademark

2. A competitor registered the trademark after 3 months of their launch

3. They continued to sell for 4 years under a name trademarked by another company, making $73,000+ yearly from that one country

Now, they complain about it on Reddit, even though China is a 'First to File' company.

The fault lies entirely with Playsaurus, nothing illegal occurred here.

https://www.trademarknow.com/blog/first-to-file-versus-first...

This situation could have occurred in many other countries - the difference is probably that the competitor is content to just sell in China, under a Chinese name, whereas products sold anywhere else would need to use the English name.

Edit: Apple taking down the game worldwide is unusual though.


A Google search seems to reveal that they were targeted by a patent troll in 2018 as well. Seems this company can’t get any slack from life.

I would strongly hesitate to blaming the victim. You can easily make the case that they had poor business ops. But this shouldn’t have happened to them.

And all the same, I have a hard time empathizing with the anti-China rhetoric. Zynga’s Pincus has been quoted by multiple sources as saying along the lines of: “copy them until you get their results.” Gaming is pretty brutal in that regard, but no one complained when Samsung or LG copied Apple’s designs. There’s a lot of selective bias and double standards here.

Although I could fault China’s tech industry for other things, it’s really hard to stand up for the US in the broader context given the hypocrisy with which we apply our ideals.


> no one complained when Samsung or LG copied Apple’s designs

Apple and Samsung were locked in a legal battle over this very issue and in several countries. It was massive news at the time (circa 2011-2012) and even went to the US Supreme Court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Inc._v._Samsung_Electron....

And here is a sample of some of the discussion in the tech community.

https://apple.slashdot.org/story/11/04/18/2053241/apple-sues...

There were a lot of people angry at Apple (and some at Samsung). A common refrain at the time was "There are only so many ways you can design a rectangle."


I tend to see "there were a lot of people angry at Apple" and "there are only so many ways you can design a rectangle" as supporting the idea that no one complained when Samsung or LG copied Apple's designs.


From the linked thread: https://apple.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2089310&cid=35860...

> I find things about both platforms that are unique and that I prefer to the other. However, when you look at what Samsung did with their UI... It's pretty pathetic to be honest. They literally copied entire app UIs wholesale (even icons).


>no one complained when Samsung or LG copied Apple’s designs.

Making variations of a rectangular device with a touchscreen was always going to be a genre. And one already long trod in fiction. People also don't worry at there being yet another quake-alike.


For a time, Samsung did a lot more than just make a rectangular device with touchscreen. They made eerily similar packing material, including the artwork, nearly identical power brick, etc. Hell, as I recall they even had their own version of the dock connector. It was all too blatant to be anything but deliberate.


Famously, the judge in the IP case asked Samsung's attorney to ID which of the two tablets she was holding was the Samsung tablet and which was the Apple iPad and Samsung's attorney couldn't tell the difference between them...

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-samsung-lawsuit/app...


To clarify: the judge was holding the devices, the lawyer was 10ft away:

> “Not at this distance your honor,” said Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.

(I thought you meant the lawyer couldn't identify a tablet she was holding in her own hands)


Lawyers of HN, can the judge ask questions to a lawyer that can furnish evidence against their own client?


Yep, also don't forget this 132 page document where Samsung emails showed they were copying iOS features on left with their own UI on right comparing them to add those features to their own UI:

https://www.theverge.com/2012/8/8/3227289/samsung-apple-ux-u...


I voluntarily owned the original iPhone 3g followed by the original Galaxy S. The similarities were very shallow in practice.

It did not have a dock connector, though the tablet did, but so did all sorts of media devices at the time.

Anytime this came up in conversation I'd hand people my Galaxy S and no one would call it a ripoff in person.


IIRC it was mostly the tablet that was a copy, not the phones.


So they used the same chipset, same battery, etc..

Or was it a "copy" like all media display devices follow a rectangular footprint with a frame?


It was a design copy. More than just having a similar footprint, too. Going from memory, it was the same size, screen, bezels, home button, dock connector, charger, and came in a box that looked just like the iPad box, was advertised with pictures that were nearly identical (technically different, but same gender, same colors, same pose, etc). It was actually pretty hilarious at the time because it was so over-the-top mimicking all the way down to details that you'd think nobody would bother with. At one point there was a great web site that just put them side-by-side and showed all the detailed copying. But it's been enough years that that seems to be lost to the dustbin of history, or at least my google fu is not strong enough to easily find it.

Samsung doesn't do anything like that now, they've long since found their own identify for all the Galaxy devices.


> I have a hard time empathizing with the anti-China rhetoric... no one complained when Samsung or LG copied Apple’s designs.

Samsung are Korean, FWIW. Oh and they were successfully sued by Apple.


>A Google search seems to reveal that they were targeted by a patent troll in 2018 as well. Seems this company can’t get any slack from life.

Sounds like a case of ex-employee leaking their business processes(or lack thereof) to companies that can exploit the issues


The issue is China's predatory trademark system forced them to abandon the Chinese name of the game worldwide, which affects their sales in other Chinese-speaking markets like the sovereign countries of Taiwan (ROC), Malaysia, etc.


Germany is also a first-to-file country, although a court case can soften this when overwhelming evidence is presented, which happens very rarely.

Having been bit by this myself once, with someone registering my trademark after I failed to do it correctly, i'm a bit unhappy about the state of the law, but at least it provides a sense of security in simplicity, and I can't feel it being predatory.

In the case of China it surely feels in a different context as they are brazenly cloning and copying everything under the sun, but that doesn't really change the merit/drawbacks of the legal basis.


The difference would be whether that only impacts sales in Germany, or impacts sales everywhere (under the name trademarked by the copycat in Germany).

My impression from the reddit thread is that Apple would face legal problems in China if Apple allows sales in countries like Taiwan, but that impression may be incorrect.

Either way I agree that they appear to be incompetent wrt legal matters.


That seems to lie entirely at Apple's discretion. The trade marked name in China is using the Chinese characters only.

It would be reasonable for Apple to take down all the uses of the Chinese name worldwide as a precaution. However, they should still allow the English spelling everywhere, including China. I'm sure they'll be able to work it out.


    Germany is also a first-to-file country
Citation needed.

All sources I have read about this topic come to the conclusion that the entity that uses a trademark first wins over an entity that regsiters a trademark afterwards.

Example:

https://www.markenservice.net/marke-vs-domain.html


You can check this document from the german trademark registry:

https://www.dpma.de/docs/dpma/veroeffentlichungen/broschuere...

German Quote: "Welche Rolle spielt das Datum der Anmeldung? Wie bereits unter „Markenrecherche“ erwähnt, gilt im Markenrecht der Prioritätsgrundsatz. In der Regel hat die ältere Marke – das heißt die Marke mit dem früheren Anmeldetag – die besseren Chancen, sich im Konfliktfall durchzusetzen"

which roughly translates to:

"What role does the date of registration play? As already mentioned under "Trademark search", the the principle of priority applies in trademark law. As a rule, the earlier trade mark - that is to say the mark with the earlier filing date - will give you the better chances to assert yourself in the event of conflict."

This doesn't sound as clear cut and is worded this softly simply because of Very Old (think 50-100 years) German companies having very legitimate claims of prior use that can't be overlooked, although the german legal system prefers the simpler and cleaner first-to-file ruling.

That means in effect for startups first-to-file is the guideline you should look into. I've paid expensive lawyers to learn this lesson.


Of course an earlier trademark filing is better then a later one.

But what does that have to do with the quesion here?

The question is if an entity that started using a trademark earlier would win in court over an entity that registered the trademark later.

For all I know the answer is yes.


The answer is indeed yes. Just have a look at the relevant law, § 12, § 4 Abs. 2 MarkenG, which is conviently available in some English translation:

> The registration of a trade mark may be cancelled if another person has acquired rights to a trade mark prior to the date that is relevant for the seniority of the registered trade mark within the meaning of section 4 no. 2 or to a commercial designation within the meaning of section 5 and these entitle him to prohibit the use of the registered trade mark in the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Where the cited section 4 no. 2 is

> The following shall give rise to trade mark protection: [...] the use of a sign in trade in so far as the sign has acquired public recognition as a trade mark within the affected trade circles

https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_markeng/englisch...


This is indeed the law, but how the courts interpret it is irrelevant for most startups, as "public recognition within the affected trade circles" is a very hard to pinpoint term and usually reserved for industry/category leading products such as "Tempo" or "Haribo Goldbären".

You might try to go this route via a court-case, while the chances in our case with prior use and trade show appearance was evident were rated as very bad by our lawyers, but again, this is usually out of scope for the resource options of a startup/small business.


Courts indeed interpret it strictly. They use two criteria:

1. The mark has to be used in a commercial setting

2. The mark has to enjoy a reputation within that sector of the market

3. The mark has to have distinctive character

Problematic is usually the second one. It is interpreted by the Federal Supreme Court that (bearing exceptional circumstances) at least 50% of participants in the market have to recognize the mark. The more generic the mark is, the higher the threshold.


in germany it would've been in favor of clicker heroes. basically clicker heroes has a trademark in two countries. another company registered a trademark in their country and COPIED the game. this is basically extremly problematic. germany takes both copyright and trademark extremly serious and usually you can't register a trademark if it is also internationally recognized.


If you're using a Chinese name in Chinese characters and heavily targeting China, I have no sympathy for you if you're going to try to play chess without knowing the rules. Creationer is on point.

Don't want the risks that come with expanding globally? Stay in your home country. It'd be like someone trying to expand into Europe without knowing anything about GDPR. You need to know foreign laws well to protect yourself from foreign risks. Or don't go expand globally.


I agree that they are incompetent for not trademarking it in China, but I still find it odd that this would affect their ability to sell in Taiwan, Malaysia, etc.

For example, they ought to have the upper hand in the U.S. as long as the Chinese name more commonly refers to their game than the copycat's (since U.S. is not first-to-file), but it sounds like Apple is nevertheless prohibited from including their game under Chinese name in the U.S. (for Chinese-speaking U.S. players) due to PRC law.


Apple has also prevented them from distributing their game under the English name in the U.S.


U.S. changed to first-to-file in 2013.

No country use first-to-invent anymore.


For patents, but not trademarks. Trademarks are still first-to-use.


Trademarks generally, in my admittedly limited experience (UK, USA, EU), are "first to use the mark for trade".

It's a slim but important distinction, but it's not like copyright works. You don't get to register someone else's trademark because you wrote it down somewhere and kept it in the safe for 20y.

Though with unregistered marks you may not be able to stop someone else from using a mark they adopted independently after your first use. Trademarks are territorial, and classification based (registered marks are registered for a particular class of business; not relevant in the OP, but worth mentioning).


If they can prove that they were first to market with the game and trademark AND that the other company cloned the game and registed the trademark in bad faith then the trademark should be revoked from the new company and assigned to them.

This would be the logical solution.

(I am sure some people will harp on about "You cannot prove bad faith" but this is what a court of law should be able to determine. You don't create a copy of another game and use their trademark in any other way apart from coincidence which is highly unlikely in this case)


It should be yes, but in China that's not what happens in practice.


What is the bet that China would do just that if it happens that a Chinese company is the victim of a non-Chinese company?


What court cases are you referring to?


I don't think this is a thing of illegal or not, but just moral. People I think find it immoral that someone can copy a game, name it the same, and if they know the rules of the system better, even get the legal trademark and then appear to be the true original.


Nothing illegal happened?

Genuine question is it not their IP not regardless of whether a patent was failed - atleast meaning ripping of assets / code would be illegal


I didn't read anything about them stealing IP from the game, but if that had happened, that'd obviously be illegal, yes.


I wasn't presenting it as fact, I was just trying to save some people a click to know what was going on.


First to file is for duplicate but independent work, it doesn't excuse theft. The patent law has first to file principle too, but doesn't allow to patent prior work.


You forgot to mention who stole the game. Maybe for some people it's not so important and stealing is just how they used to do things?


This is an insightful comment; had this happened in a western country (which it easily could) people would have gone "hey - that's how the world works". But since it happened in China with the current sentiment it is a different story ...


This is the kind of stuff that makes me feel the trade conflict between the US and China is overdue. The world’s two biggest economies operating on such a different standards of IP was bound to lead to conflict eventually.


It is very overdue and close to reaching a flashpoint. The markets have been getting slammed recently over trade war rumbles. Not sure how it will all end, but China really needs to fall in line with the RoW and adopt sane standards for intellectual property. This cannot go on.


Do you really think the rest of the world has "sane standards for intellectual property"?


> "sane standards for intellectual property"

You mean US standards for intellectual property... which are really Disney standards for intellectual property.

I'm not a US citizen and think that "US standards for intellectual property" are absolutely disgusting. A US company with no connection whatsoever to my country or its indigenous people has trademarked our word for hello/greetings/life/health.

Life plus 70yrs for copyright? WTF?

How about this for "sane standards of intellectual property": https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19997848


I hope you’re not a citizen of a signatory to the Berne Convention of 1886 which 90% of the world is part of either, 20 years not being much difference when it comes to principles of “US standards” and all.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berne_Convention


> A US company with no connection whatsoever to my country or its indigenous people has trademarked our word for hello/greetings/life/health.

What's the word? Curious.


Not parent commenter but they may mean this: Bula (Fijian greeting) [1] The same article also mentions Aloha being trademarked followed by cease and desists being sent restaurants in Hawaii using the word.

[1] https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/366621/bula...



I thought you were referring to "Hakuna Matata", which they nicked from Swahili and used in the Lion King. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-46384204

Sounds like a repeat offender to me.


Thanks for that link; I missed that news.

> The trademark does not mean that the company owns the phrase, or that it can ban anyone from using it. Disney filed the trademark upon the release of the original movie for clothing or footwear it sells in the United States, as a way to protect itself against other companies that might try to exploit the Disney brand.

These "trademark experts" have contradicted themselves there. The trademark prevents an African man from the race and culture that created the phrase, from selling clothing and footwear bearing that phrase. And I SMH at the claim that Hakuna Matata is a "Disney brand".


Google Allo maybe? It seems they have a trademark on that


Saner but not sane would be a better descriptor.


Compared to China? Definitely.


Yep I cannot wait to see the days when thousands of patent trolls are coming from China.


It will never happen. What's the worst case scenario, China cuts off its markets completely from western digital products? They already have.


I suppose that the worst case scenario is that the bond market gets involved. Ugly.

OTOH, maybe it's better to have a small conflict early rather than a large one later.


The worst case scenario is that tariffs and other measures against China slow down their economy enough that their real-estate bubble pops. The results of that could easily be political.


It's not early friend :(

Having said that, with the amount of Chinese wealth overseas I think there is a vested interest in keeping the status quo


Why are you confident that this isn't already "later"?


The worst for China is that we block them from our markets. Which Trump is trying to do


Even worse for China is if they are blocked from both US and EU markets. Like the US, Europe has found its IP and technology appropriated by China, so with the right strategy Trump might convince EU leaders to also take a hard line against China. Unfortunately Trump's world view doesn't allow for such a strategy.


The big obstacle to this strategy isn't Trump's world view, it's the structure of the EU itself. They just haven't been able to agree on a hard line against any kind of Chinese trade abuses. This has been a problem since well before Trump was elected.


China’s economy is very dependent on foreign markets, both for exports of its manufactured goods and for acquiring the commodities needed for that. Their currency peg further limits their options. If they go too low commodities become unaffordable and if they go too high exports lose competitiveness.


And some manufacturing jobs come back to the U.S.


Not likely. When manufacturing comes back to the US it's because the company calculated the cost of a US-based automated factory was less than the shipping + tariffs on the foreign-produced goods. If manual labor jobs leave China, they will go to other low-cost countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, etc. or be lost forever. Even producing things in Mexico can cut your labor cost in half in comparison to producing here.


An automated factory in the US is more US jobs than a factory in China. It is a net positive even though you don't get all the jobs back.


It could mean more US jobs, but it could also mean fewer if you look more broadly.

Say US companies are having PCBs manufactured in China because that's currently the cheapest option. You cut off that option and US companies are forced use more expensive domestic options. The effects of that can ripple through US companies that directly or indirectly depend on PCBs, and the jobs lost throughout the economy could be greater than the jobs gained from the new automated factories.


The gains by US producers will be outweighed by losses to US consumers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadweight_loss

In addition, much of the gain will accrue to a smaller number of business owners, while the losses will be spread across the wider public.

Inevitably, those in control will manipulate the situation to their own advantage.


More importantly it's a strategic positive. Productive capacity is defense capacity. Buying gewgaws, knickknacks, and flipflops from a strategic competitor is one thing, buying defense technology is another, and it's not the path to security.


Exactly. They wouldn’t go from China to the US. They’d go from China to somewhere closer to the economic factors of China - India, Brazil, etc


The worst case scenario for China is a complete decoupling of the US economy from China. If US manufacturing is going to remain offshore it should be diversified across many countries with similar values rather than centralized in one country with values completely contrary to those of the US.

All Chinese information technology companies should be banned from operating within the United States. Tick toc, weibo, baidu, etc. Also ban trading with their hardware companies.

Either a deal will be made or the existing relationship between the United States and China is finished.


> The worst case scenario for China is a complete decoupling of the US economy from China.

This is impossible, even if someone wanted to do this (which is like saying you want to commit suicide) they couldn't.


A complete 100% decoupling may be impossible but the US is not so reliant on China that a 90% decoupling could be considered suicide. It would take effort and would result in many lost dollars but the US could move its manufacturing out of China.


>but China really needs to fall in line with the RoW and adopt sane standards for intellectual property

Maybe US and China should adopt Russian standards of IP?


I don't think it's specifically about China, but with international issues of trademarks.

Look at ugg boots, considered generic in Australia and New Zealand, but aggressively trademarked by Dekkers elsewhere in the world, including the USA. Producers from Australia can't use the name when exporting.


Or Supreme Italy, which makes knockoff supreme-branded goods legally. Samsung recently did a collab with them and Supreme the US brand wasn't too happy.


Or Budweiser Budvar (sidenote: at a conference earlier this year I had the pleasure of seeing a Czech person at a different table order Budweiser thinking it was the Czech beer... He was not happy with the result).


huh. TIL. Never knew that was a generic name.


In Australia, it was considered a type of shoe like a "boot". We got really annoyed when a US company trademarked an Australian product and then stopped Australian companies from selling it under the name they had been using for decades.

Sort of like this exact case...


Thank you for posting this. A timely reminder that the problem isn't China, or any country in specific - the problem is greed.


It's not even closely related to any brand here. It's completely generic. Most of the time the ugg boots producers are really small businesses and you purchase locally made ones.


A possible solution would be the [australian] government trademarking their traditional product names or a similar variant, and then acting as umbrella for thousands of australian small companies. Granting a free use of the term and defense against predatory practices. A sort of shared trademark.

Maybe should be named uggstralian boots from now on.


Why should it be named uggstralian now? It's an offensive suggestion. Do you think generic American words,like Pickup truck or Hamburger, should be able to be trademarked and then America would need to change the word?


> Why should it be named uggstralian now?

Because "ugg boots" is now a trademark, therefore unavailable for everybody else, whereas "hamburger" is not.

Can you provide a better name?


It is overdue but it's being prosecuted under a flawed understanding of almost all aspects of the situation and inane and unfocused policy. You tackle China first while building an economic coalition of interests with shared goals. A sane and competent person would focus on one task at a time and not undercut the strategic interests required to achieve that task, achieving perhaps effectively nothing.


I agree. I don't think I actually have an issue with the trade war, but I have lots wrong with how the current administration is going about it, and I don't have any faith in their ability to extract a positive outcome from China.


Reminds me of the Bill Hicks joke about being 'for the war, but against the troops'. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_whePVoqOY


China says it is their national right to hack and copy... No US President sane or not will be able to overcome that.


Its major competitors spent 2 centuries actively attacking & sabotaging it (a fact that the US population doesn't seem aware of), seems fair.


There must be a difference between stealing the formula to gun powder vs. downloading the software and engineering for a F-35 plane.


This is my biggest complaint with Trump's tactics as well. If he didn't view EVERYTHING as a zero sum game, he and whatever coalition he could assemble would be much more credible when it comes to tariffs and threats. It's a shame that TPP wasn't passed because it would've really helped here.


>If he didn't view EVERYTHING as a zero sum game, he and whatever coalition he could assemble would be much more credible when it comes to tariffs and threats.

Thank fuck he does, quite frankly. We all dodged a bullet there.


This isn't a children's playground.

There could've been a targeted dispute over IP. But instead what has happened is that a range of tariffs are involved which has resulted in Trump just giving $16 billion to farmers. Some of whom are now planting crops with no intention to sell but purely to get money from the US government.


In fact, borrowing $16 billion from China to give it to farmers hurt by tariffs against China.


Maybe I don't get your point but a tariff is a tax, and US consumers pay for a lot of that tax. So this is effectively a super inefficient redistribution of wealth to farmers from everyone else in the country.


That's all true. But the tariffs China places on US agricultural products aren't a tax on US consumers, and don't produce revenue for the US.

So American farmers are losing export sales due to Chinese tariffs, the sting of which Trump is trying to reduce by paying the farmers. Those payments probably aren't funded by tariff revenue collected by the US. So they'll probably be paid for through borrowing. Which may mean borrowing from China.


Most of our borrowing we do from ourselves, so technically only some fraction of that came from China.

But yeah, your point is still a good one.


Out of interest, could you share the context for why you chose your username?



Ahh, was just checking my assumptions. I have members of my family who still complain about having to call Zimbabwe Zimbabwe and who have old SA flags from the '70's, despite them not being from Africa, if you catch my drift, so I was not so subtly digging. For reference, I find it about as disconcerting as if someone decided to call themselves 'ConstantinopleKnight', or similar. If my uncle called himself 'RhodesianHunter' online, he would definitely not be referencing the dog breed.


I've used this username in various forms pretty much since usernames were a thing. It's only in the past couple of years that people have started asking me about it in this context. Is there a reason as far as you know that the history of Rhodesia has suddenly become more interesting to people with no real connection?

I'm sadly going to have to pick something else next time around.


Well, in the UK we have the people who long for the heyday of empire as well as the folk who treat skin tone as a sports team, and both groups are on the telly a lot more recently, though I don't think have actually increased in number. As an indication of the connotations, some people here may refer to Zimbabwe as Rhodesia as an indication that they support aparthied and some others may do it out of a misguided nostalgia for the days when we were in charge of stuff.


Dylan Roof, the white supremacist perpetrator of the 2015 Charleston church shooting, had a website called "The Last Rhodesian" and wore a jacket with Rhodesian and apartheid-era South African emblems.


Sigh. That's too bad. Thanks for the info!


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Not many.


How would TPP have helped?


The whole point of TPP was to strengthen trade links between Asia/Pacific nations except China. Which would have helped strengthen TPP member defenses against trade moves by China.


Good luck isolating China from its Asian neighbors, I expect that plan will backfire spectacularly.


Well, everyone else involved in drafting the TPP is still in it. So China's Asian neighbors must see some value in it. Only the US dropped out.


Having a multinational agreement between several economies that the Chinese economy is hugely dependent on would have been a great trade chip for getting China on board with Western IP laws. That was the whole point of the deal in the first place.


I read your comment once thinking it said something, but I couldn't remember what. So then I read it again, and again, then suddenly realized you didn't actually say anything at all. You could replace the single word "China" with just about anything and it would carry the same semantic weight.

> It is overdue but it's being prosecuted under a flawed understanding of almost all aspects of the situation and inane and unfocused policy.

What is the understanding, who understands it, and why is their understanding flawed? What is the policy? Why is the policy inane and unfocused? What is the correct understanding and what would be the substantive and focused policy?

> You tackle China first while building an economic coalition of interests with shared goals.

Which aspect of China should be tackled--just IP or something else? Who should be part of the coalition? Or do you mean with other nations? Which goals are shared? Why are those the goals? How are those goals different from the goals held by those who have a flawed understanding, or do they share the same goals?

> A sane and competent person would focus on one task at a time and not undercut the strategic interests required to achieve that task, achieving perhaps effectively nothing.

Who is insane and incompetent person to which you seek to draw a contrast? What is it about their position that leads to the evaluation they are mentally deranged or incompetent? What are the multiple tasks they are focused on? Which one particular task should they focus on? Why is it necessary to focus on one task? Are they the correct tasks? What are the strategic interests? Who holds those strategic interests? Are they they the correct strategic interests? Why are they undercutting those strategic interests? How do those strategy-level issues affect the implementation-level tasks? What would be achieved if their tasks and strategies were aligned?


Just because the comment assumes a great deal of contextual knowledge does not mean that it "says nothing". Your response on the other hand...

Answering all of your posed questions would take quite a bit of typing and is probably better suited to a blog post, of which I'm sure there are many you could Google.

I'm not sure why you bothered to respond?


As someone who is often guilty of making vague statements, I appreciate this comment.


Chinas position on IP is a complicated mess. Considering their political and economic background as well as their position in international politics, I can kinda understand why they don't have much interest in honouring the creations of others.


There are tradeoffs to either a file first system like in China or a first to use system like in the US.


So this indicates a few troubling things:

1. It is way easier to steal something and resell it convincingly, than it is to prove original ownership convincingly. This tilts the market in favor of thieves, as they need to do none of the investment and still reap maybe half or more of the total potential income.

2. Apple pulling something from a store should affect only a fraction of a normal market; instead, it affects literally everyone.

3. Gatekeepers such as Apple win regardless of who sells an app. If a developer complains and Apple has millions of alternative developers/apps, why would they even listen? The motivation is simply nonexistent.

These problems would all be nullified by abolishing the concept of a single gatekeeper store.

If you can easily steal something but there is no easy place to publish it to get stolen revenue from “nearly everyone”, the value of the theft is reduced. (Imagine if you had to find a way to propagate your stolen app to 100 stores. Would it be worth it?)

If you can convince one storefront to accept your stolen app as legitimate but you still have to convince a bunch of other stores, the value of the theft is again reduced.

If each store has a relatively smaller chunk of the total market, none of them would want to become known as that store where crappy apps make it into the list so they would be more motivated to curate a decent catalog.


> If you can easily steal something but there is no easy place to publish it to get stolen revenue from “nearly everyone”, the value of the theft is reduced. (Imagine if you had to find a way to propagate your stolen app to 100 stores. Would it be worth it?)

The same obstacle would also apply to all legitimate app developers…


Most of what you just said applies to Amazon and Chinese copycat/counterfeit products (and is exactly what has been happing with physical products and even books! on Amazon for years).


But the thief in this case got their app up. So if it’s hard to do that for 100 stores. Why wouldn’t it be the same difficulty for legitimate developers?


The "thieves" could use the same trademark takedowns on any app store that serves users in China.


The problem you describe was solved in 1792 by the US Constitution, but has not been deployed everywhere.


There is already a whole other bigger store though.


I've heard multiple horror stories of this happening with physical product brands.

Someone buys their products from a factory in China, sells on e.g. Amazon US with their own brand, trademarked and everything. Then some Chinese entity trademarks it in China. The clincher is that since they have a Chinese trademark, they can put an export block on anything bearing that trademark, and so the US buyer can't ship their goods out of China anymore.

Because of this, people are being advised to register in China even if they never plan to sell anything there.


Or produce locally where possible to avoid that altogether. The risk is higher than then higher production costs in many cases. Its not nationalist drivel to support your own area when it is feasible.


Local means worse. The West has terrible production infrastructure when compared to places like Shenzen. It's a serious disadvantage on many fronts.


That's not entirely true. The US is good at capital intensive or high skilled manufacturing like most other countries aren't. That's why it's viable for a lot of car companies to open plants in the US. It's just that most of the supply chain requires more labor and less capital, which the US economy is not suited towards.


No, inefficient production and ignoring comparative advantages is bad regardless of what language you use to play it up.


Ideally, one factory’s more-efficient production method would result in a larger economic pie that would be fairly distributed amongst everyone.

In practice, especially when you consider regional trade barriers and the lack of perfect and instantaneous wealth redistribution, many people care about factors such as, “will my friends and family still have economic opportunity if this factory is offshored?”

This concern may at first seem like nationalism or nativism, but through a bit of moral algebra we’ll reveal it as that blessed market motive of rational self-interest. Put simply, factory workers in foreign countries won’t help raise your children, watch over you in times of ill health, or take care of you in old age. In the United States, such aid is also unlikely to come from the anonymous shareholders and C-level executives who’ll reap the main economic benefits of any offshoring.


These incentives aren't enough for any single rational actor to change their behavior.

At the national level, sure, there's an argument for protectionism. But, not at the individual level as whenchamenia suggested.


The US buyer can ship their goods, they just need to ship it to a warehouse in the US and then apply the branding domestically. But it does suck and blow.


Wait, I'm confused. Why did Apple take the game down worldwide instead of only in China? They only "violated" Chinese copyright law, but they're punished for it globally?


No inside info here, but my guess is this is a nuanced situation that broke Apple’s internal review process. This situation is thoroughly off script, requires a political and legal understanding of multiple countries trademark frameworks, with potential penalties for not complying quickly. They probably just messed up and someone internally will try to bring it back online outside of China now that this is getting wider coverage.


My guess: (1) It's probably a violation of Apple's terms of service to distribute an app that infringes another's trademark and (2) the app probably still displays the infringing mark "点击英雄" somewhere, for example if a user sets the phone language to Chinese.


Trademark jurisdiction is geographic, not linguistic.


Jurisdiction limits where a lawsuit can be filed. It does not limit what Apple can put in its terms of service for the App Store.


Per [1] my understanding is that they took down the game worldwide, but that the action will only affect Chinese-speaking markets since the English name was not trademarked in China.

Perhaps if they had trademarked the Chinese name in the US (assuming this is possible) they could fight this. Or maybe they would have to fight it in every sovereign country, e.g. Taiwan (ROC), Malaysia, etc.

[1] https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/comments/bs6n3l/apple_remov...


Apple took down the Clicker Heroes app in all languages, English (for which the company does hold a trademark) included, worldwide.


But why don't they remove the Chinese localization like that person is saying and get it re-activated? Is that not possible?

This is a post from the developer which doesn't make sense if it's impossible:

> We can re-name it in China, yeah. With a ton of effort changing all of the artwork we created with the old name. But renaming "Clicker Heroes" (which we already trademarked) in the U.S. and EU would be senseless


I would imagine that they're working on it. But, as devil's advocate, I might ask instead "why didn't Apple remove the offending app only from the region in which it was deemed to be infringing?"


Apple recognized Chinese claims of IP over the rest of the world.


Says a lot about how they think about privacy too.


Apple doesn't toot their privacy horn in countries like China for a reason


Apple knows where their future is...


To everyone who has an iPhone: not only can Apple decide what you can and can't run on your device, but any random Chinese company now also gets to decide what software you get to run on the device you dramatically overpaid for to "own".


What’s the alternative you propose?


At least on Android you can install and run any software you want. Google provides an app store but it does not lock you in like apple does.


I take long-term security updates over running Clicker Heroes and an adtech OS.


Valuing security over freedom, huh? Remimds me of a quote about deserving neither… (Besides, I have a Nexus 5 from six years ago, the updates are still coming…)

Okay, Google's privacy's suck. I'm definitely unhappy about it. But let's not forget Apple's lock down sucks just as hard. I'd even go as far as saying that this exclusive store thing should be forbidden. People should have root rights over their phone, and Apple should be forbidden to prevent them. Instead, people can get in legal trouble from sharing information about jailbreaking.


> Valuing security over freedom

If I do banking on my mobile device, then yes, I value security. I also value security, when the device contains a non-negligible amount of personal information that tends to be valuable in certain scenarios.

It's not some ephemeral boogeyman threat management you seem to make it out to be. For me, this IS freedom (from Google's invasive practices and questionable business decisions). I choose Apple because due to their business model they at least have far less motivation to sell my data to the Chinese or other entities. Of course we cannot know the true behind-the-scenes.

> Apple's lock down sucks just as hard

Does it for the vast majority of users who don't need to ssh into their phone for (at best) tinkering reasons? How many people are seriously feeling the negative impact here? I'd argue that the majority of non-tech-savvy users are better of this way.

Even as a developer, I am not missing anything in the App Store. Questionable decisions by Apple have so far not collided with my interests but that is too selfish of an argument to make, I suppose. Although I do assume that it holds true for a very high percentage of users. I am open for opposing points.


> Does it for the vast majority of users who don't need to ssh into their phone for (at best) tinkering reasons?

That's a hard question. Probably, I'd guess. See, what happens with tinkerers has influence over the other users. Stuff happens in an open platform that just doesn't, in a closed one. Though the biggest effects tend to be seen 10 years down the line, when tinkerers turn professionals (or not, if they didn't get to tinker at all).

> I'd argue that the majority of non-tech-savvy users are better of this way.

Non-tech-savvyness ought to be wiped off the surface of this planet. For the tech illiterate's own sake. Yes, it means less time to do some other stuff. No that other stuff is not more important. Even when you are busy saving lives, tech is too pervasive to ignore. I'm not asking for much. If people just stopped treating their computers like sentient beings that should be pleased with voodoo magic, if they just understand that bugs come from human errors somewhere up the production chain, that viruses can only go in through such errors (or the user themselves), that would be a huge step forward.

I know the market doesn't work that way. It's more efficient at capturing attention than it is at educating people (which is probably why the best school systems tend to be public). If the people were properly educated, many shady practices would simply not have flown. Malware would be much less of a problem.


> Non-tech-savvyness ought to be wiped off the surface of this planet.

Oh I agree, although I wouldn't formulate it this way. An ecosystem like Apple's still has a place in an ideal tech-savvy world because it takes away a lot of micromanagement here and there.

Back in my Android days I constantly had to micromanage and adjust everything to work the way I want it to. Widgets, changing Google app landscape, flashing some custom Cyanogenmod because the manufacturers Frankenstein Android flavor was a hot mess, reign in unwanted background processes, etc etc. Much has gotten a lot better since then on Android but I made the switch before that.

On Apple's system I get to decide less but I also get to worry less as long as I am ok with their decisions. It just feels convenient and barely anything ever gets in my way. I enjoy the mostly seamless integration of iOS and macOS.

If I wouldn't be ok then I thankfully have the OPTION to go back to Android. That's what we should be happy about, right? You can use Google products, I can use Apple products. And if we discover some issue with our choices we can always change them.

> If the people were properly educated

I often feel like many people have no interest in being educated and that is what feels truly frustrating. Anecdotally, I have setup Netflix for relatives and they had zero interest in how it was done. Actively rejected my attempts to show them the setup steps - they just want to be able to press the Netflix button on the remote and have it play something.

Since then, I had to fix simple login issues once or twice again because that step is too techy/nerdy/boring. Of course passwords were never remembered/noted/securely stored...


That's a pretty loaded statement Using android is no more risky than any other platform with a minimum of common sense. Being stupid-proof is only a feature for stupid people. Besides, long-term security updates on Apple "planned-obsolescence" Inc products dosen't seem like the most useful of things.


> being stupid-proof is only a feature for stupid people

So everyone who is not a techie is "stupid". Are you a regular StackOverflow commenter? Because you certainly got the condescending tone.


The loaded question into the ad hominem, classy. But if you think you need a doctorate in CS to not install shady apps from unknown sources its your prerogative.


In theory, the market could push Android manufacturers to offer longer support terms. In practice... not really, so, fair point.


It's an alternative but not without flaws either -- which just measns a trade offf -- the Play store suffers problems that the App Store doesn't. e.g. Apps that are simply removed without explanation and a huge spam problem -- malicious apps have gotten to the top of the Play Store.

What we need is more compitition -- this duopoly is too polaraizing and binary for something as complex as modern mobile phones.


Has anyone complied a list of security vulnerabilities for iOS vs Android over the years? To my eye, it looks like I see articles about android vulnerabilities much more often (and searching for “android security vulnerability exposes” vs “iPhone (or iOS) security vulnerability exposes” seems to back that up.


I would counter most IOS vulns generalize across more devices, as iphones are a reletive monoculture compared to the huge array of android devices. So even ignoring popularity differences, numbers alone will not tell much about which is more secure for the end user. Some type of apples to aplles comparison, would indeed be interesting.


You can search the CVE database, but it will give you a lot of vulnerabilities that were detected in apps on the platforms, and not only the platform itself.

https://cve.mitre.org/cgi-bin/cvekey.cgi?keyword=android


Push for an open platform like the web, although google will soon have a big grip on it with its chrome domination.


There is no money in that.


Consumers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Would you tell consumers to stop complaining about the rock?


My question was genuine


Fair enough. Both mainstream choices suck for different reasons, and all other choices suffer from not being mainstream. It's a shit situation.


the alternative is allowing any software that isn't a virus or illegal to be installed... just like pc's have done for decades


Even that should be optional. I should be able to do with my device whatever I want to — including bricking it, deliberately compromising it (for whatever reason), and installing a different OS on top of it. Of course, there should be some sane defaults that prevent me from it, but if I really wished to, I should be able to do one (or twenty) deliberate action(s) that make that possible.


No control of what’s installed and what not means no control over the money


they make far more money from device sales than they do from apps. they just don't want to give up their gatekeeping power


They’ve set the precedent that a Chinese trademark has worldwide effect. This move could come back to bite Apple if a Chinese company ever does the same thing to them directly.


In the end Apple has the money to fight that, and they'll make more money falling in line with Chinese law, even if it hurts small developers...especially since they draw so much growth from that region. The US is on the back burner.


Which wouldn't be upheld by any Paris Convention state. (And China agreed to the Paris Convention in 1984).

But yeah, international filing is a lot easier now, China is a member of the Madrid System, so it's relatively streamlined.


Still costs several thousand dollars.


If he's losing $200 - $300 per day because of this, it'd pay for itself pretty quickly.


I thought Apple already settled something like that in China.


China does not respect US trademarks, but the US respects Chinese trademarks? Someone explain it to me like I was 5, please?


It is not a matter of respect. U.S. trademark law applies in the U.S. and Chinese trademark law applies in China. The laws are just different.

The U.S. does more to protect a user of a mark who neglects to register. For example, there is a "Burger King" restaurant that used the mark prior to the well-known international chain. That business continues to use the mark for its restaurant and can even exclude the well-known company from a limited territory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burger_King_(Mattoon,_Illinois...

The Chinese system, by contrast, seems very unforgiving to a prior user who neglects to register.


Part of the reason for this is that the US system uses common law which means that it changes over time based on previous cases.

The Chinese system is based more on the German system where courts have less leeway and follow the laws more than interpret the laws.

The Chinese civil law is more common worldwide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law


It's a bit more complicated than that. For trademark law, U.S. law is a hybrid. Federal law is always codified in a set of statutes, which makes it a bit like a civil law jurisdiction, except that higher court decisions are binding on trial courts. State law is often codified, but sometimes it is based on a common law history of judicial decisions.

The particular complexity for U.S. trademark law arises because the federal law did not completely preempt state laws. Federal law applies generally to marks registered with the federal government through the trademark office, but there can also be rights based on state law.


the detail is in 'neglects to register'. good explanation.

the issue with these kinds of cases, is that this is internet bound, and taking it down in for example chinese websites only, wouldn't make it unavailable in china. thus such internet marketed goods are harder to be forgiving in, as it's always available everywhere or nowhere. you can't as per your burger king example, exclude such a product from a certain territory or geographic location.

it's shitty, but in the end if you are running a business internationally which is prone to such copycats, register your trademark and protect yourself. if you forget you can be certain at some point, if you are successful, someone will try to copy it.


It's not that US respects Chinese trademarks, but Apple


Seriously this issue has nothing to do with Chinese IP system. Any trademark troll can register their trademark and send a takedown request to Apple. In this specific case, Apple decides to take down the app because the trademark is registered in a first-to-file juristication. It probably will make the same decision if the patent troll registered the tradmark in most EU countries.

Trademark trolling is a big problem. Making this a China specific problem doesn't help to solve it.


The problem is that the Chinese company copied their app, trademarked it and then petitioned Apple to remove the original app. And the general consensus is that it is not surprising a "Chinese" company did this. That is where the challenge is - the trust for Chinese companies is pretty low especially given they do these types of activities.


The Chinese company certainly deserves the blame and shame, but Much criticism focuses on Chinese trademark system. What can we reasonably expect it to do anything here? Should it check with every foreign company when a trademark is filed? Should it intervene and regulate apple’s takedown action?

There are plenty of patent trolls and domain squatting all over the world but rarely people blame US patent office or domain name registrar.


At the very least they shouldn't have petitioned for the app to be banned globally given they blatantly copied it. And Apple should have known better. The current situation looks pretty bad on them.


It seems to me like this is going to come up in the future "everyone who bought an iDevice" vs Apple antitrust lawsuit.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/us/politics/supreme-court...


Chinese companies are bad, but are American companies any better ? They have done the same with many traditional indian ayurvedic recipes. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2003/sep/08/wto.fair...


Even the largest US companies will appropriate IP that isn't nailed down. Cases appear here every few months.

In the 19th century, American entrepreneurs took the same attitude to European IP as China now does to America - if anything, IP appropriation was even more blatant than it is now.


Registering trademarks etc. should be a part of the added value that an app store brings. Don't forget that they take a heavy 30% cut per sale.


This is just an example of trademark/copyright troll, which is becoming more and more common in China since the IP system there is maturing.


About 2% of downloads & revenue (out of a total of $2~ million revenue and 6.6~ million downloads) came from China.

I wonder if filing for a trademark in the US (where they could prove first use) and leaving the Chinese market would be a way to solve this.


They have a trademark in the EU and US according to the reddit thread. The problem is their app was removed internationally instead of just in China, and they are having trouble appealing it.


Feels like a lesson to be learned. You invent first - trademark it first as well.

I wonder if the original game developer was in watch mode while all these trademarks over EU, US and China was granted.


I don't get it. Do you really believe that people should file for trademarks in every country on earth just so their app doesn't get shut down in the US?


You misunderstood, original game developer has trademark registered in USA and EU and still their game was removed form sale in those markets.


My bad,

@mastazi, If you have trademarks over EU, US - why not start a petition and let community help you bring down Apple to reinstate you?


Both Apple and Google rarely reinstate an app, they don't care, they hide behind the corporate machine, they have plenty of other apps to take their cut from.


Then trademarks are broken. They are supposed to protect and incentivize inventors, not lawyers.


I use an apple mobile; is there any way* to download the Playsaurus game Clicker Heroes? I know it has, at least at times, been possible to install an app via, say, a web browser like firefox where that app would not appear in-store. I am not sure whether such a thing is possible anymore but would like to support the game and its developer/s.

*without rooting or unjailing the device


You're talking about sideloading, that requires the game's IPA file and signing with Cydia Impactor (or building it yourself from source in Xcode). Unless you join Apple Dev Program for $99/yr you can only sign five apps for up to seven days each (same if you are developing your own apps).


> Unless you join Apple Dev Program for $99/yr you can only sign five apps for up to seven days each (same if you are developing your own apps).

That is, unless you use a gray market enterprise certificate, which is probably what the GP is thinking of. It has gotten significantly harder to do this in recent months, particularly after it came out that Facebook was engaging in the practice...


Yes, but that will lead to the eventual revocation of the certificate at an unpredictable time, which will render the app and all of its data inaccessible.


I wonder if there might be any trademark Apple terms that haven't been properly trademarked in China yet? Ponder, ponder...


Why wouldn't Apple do better research before boneheaded actions such as this?


The law often doesn't follow 'common sense' rules that laymen imagine.

You can think of it like a semantic error in your code. The computer/legal system does what it was programmed to do, not 'the right thing'


What law? Aren't they primarily an American company? Does this mean that they will give up customer information to the Chinese government if required by law there?


Yes, it does in fact mean that and, yes, Apple has already done that. In fact, Apple’s iCloud infra is state owned and operated in China [1].

1: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208351


Just because a company is American doesn't mean they can flout the laws of a country they are selling products into.

Think about it in reverse. Would you accept a Chinese company ignoring US law if they were selling something to US consumers.


But the app was taken down worldwide. Your example is if the app was only taken down in China, no?


Remember where all of Apple's products are manufactured.


I often joke that the law is like an ill-defined programming language, with limited formal testing or pre- production error checks, hazy specifications, running on dynamically changing systems, with no standard compiler/interpreter.

In many ways I would have thought web programmers and startup people were some of the best placed minds to understand it :p


It's not the ghost of Steve Jobs making the call here, but some tier 0 script-following customer support peon at an outsourcing company's cubicle farm in Manila.


And how are you so sure that they were not possessed by the ghost of Steve Jobs?


because they do not care, nor are they required to. This is what you get when you decide to plant your seeds in their walled garden.


They can afford not to.


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