Android Market Trademark Complaint received!

One of my apps got suspended today! I wish google would have given the devs a chance to voice their opinion before going and deleting everything that has NBA in the title. Here is a letter I received from them and a copy of the complaint sent by someone at the NBA:

This is a notification that the application, Houston Rockets Pro Theme NBA with package ID mobi.bbase.ahome.theme.rockets has been removed from Android Market due to a violation of the Developer Content Policy. Please review the Content Policies and Business and Program Policies before you create or upload additional applications. Note that repeated violations may result in a suspension of your Android Market Publisher account.

For more information, or to contact us, please reply to this email, or visit the Android Market Help Center.

Thanks,

The Android Market Team

and another email:

Google has been notified that some of your materials allegedly infringe

upon the trademarks of others. The details of the removed application may

be found at the end of this message. Please note that we have attached a

copy of the original notice we received for your reference.

If you have any further concerns about this issue, please address them

directly to the complainant in the Trademark Infringement Notice provided.

The affected application is listed below:

Houston Rockets Pro Theme NBA by HydTech

Regards,

The Android Market Team

Here is a copy of the complaint sent by some Sacha Tarrant of the NBA:

Android market trademark complaint

So in conclusion, anyone can send in a complaint and google will suspend your app without looking into it.

The New Droid Incredible!

15 thoughts on “Android Market Trademark Complaint received!”

  1. Yup, they have to do that to maintain their safe harbor status under the dmca. If you look at their dmca page, they clearly explain the steps you need to take to have your apps reinstated:

    http://www.google.com/dmca.html#counter

    Also, it wasn’t “anyone” who filed the complaint, it was NBA Properties, the company that licenses the rights your apps honestly seem to be infringing on.

  2. It seems pretty clear to me that is a violation of NBA’s trademark. Unless you’re licensed from the NBA I don’t see how you could be upset about this.

  3. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see how using the ‘Houston Rockets’ name and inserting a few red icons can be a violation of trademark unless I use their logo.

  4. From nba.com
    “The National Basketball Association (“NBA”) name and logo and the names and logos of NBA.com and the NBA teams are the property of NBA Properties, Inc. and the member teams of the NBA. All other trademarks, logos and service marks (collectively, the “Trademarks”) appearing on the Site are Trademarks of their respective owners. Nothing contained on the Site should be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark displayed on the Site without the written permission of its respective owner.”

    In other words, using the term “NBA” and “Houston Rockets” violated their trademarks.

  5. You’re kidding, right? The complaint that you link to specifically states that both “NBA” and “Houston Rockets” are trademarked. It has nothing to do with logos. If you created an app called the “Coca-Cola app” you would be in violation of Coca-Cola’s trademark.

    I believe the danger to these companies posed by your app and others like it is that users may assume that the app is officially endorsed by the NBA when it isn’t.

  6. no i dont think so. you can make an unofficial ebay app, a craigslist notification app, unofficial google voice app, tmobile settings app, but if you make an nba scores widget you are violating nba trademark? pulease…

  7. Actually, I think I misspoke. As the other commenters pointed out, that’s a trademark infringement notice, not a DMCA takedown notice. Sadly, they don’t have a similar page explaining the process for people on the receiving end of one of these.

    Remember, app removals happen only if somebody issues a legal notice to google, they don’t actively police the market. I’d be surprised to see them not remove an unofficial ebay/craigslist/etc app if they got an infringement notice for it.

    Basically, it sucks that the NBA are being dicks, but they’re well within their rights, and Google are legally obligated to do what they did.

  8. dude, you are one of the android market spammers!

    50 NBA themes / skins in the trademark complaint, and it does seem they have a valid reason for they have registered “NBA”.

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  11. Damn that sucks.. what did you do about the notice? You know if any action will be taken against you? I wonder if we put like “Fan made app” or “unofficial” or somethign like that in the description of the application will prevent stuff like this happening..

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