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Name Thieves & Squatters Hitting Mac App Store

Drama is hitting the Mac App Store before it is even launched…

Many developers are transitioning their existing iPhone and iPad apps to the Mac App Store. Some of these developers have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars under their unique app names. There’s only one problem when selling their app on the Mac App Store… their brand name is taken.

Just hours after developers were allowed to begin submitting apps to the Mac App Store high profile names began to disappear. People begin the submission process by selecting an app name but wait to submit the source code. Under Apple’s policies these names can be held for up to 120 days. Prominent names such as Fluid, RapidWeaver, and OmniFocus have been scooped up before developers even had a chance. This, of course, is infuriating to developers who have built up a reputation for their app names only to have it taken away by low level developers.

Name squatting is not a new issue for Apple. In the past names could be held for up to two years in the iPhone App Store. Apple’s recent change to a 120 day policy helps but is not a solution to the problem. It will be interesting to see how these big name developers handle their brand names being stolen from them.

We got in touch with @isaiah, the developer for YourHead Software via Twitter for a quick look into his thoughts…

think it’s just a bug that apple is working on. i’m optimistic they’ll rectify it before the store opens.

What do you think about this issue plaguing hard working developers? Do you agree with Apple’s current policies? What do you see as a resolution to the problem? Leave us a comment and share your opinion!

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