Print 82 comment(s) - last by superstition.. on Jun 16 at 4:05 PM

Hughes' logo is on the left, Apple's is on the right
Apple's iOS 5 includes a feature that is almost identical to an app a developer submitted in May 2010

It's no secret that Apple has been militant in suing competitors that employ technologies even remotely close to Apple's own [see: SamsungMotorolaHTC]. But when it comes to stealing ideas for apps from developers, Apple's intentions are a bit more dubious.

The Register reports that Apple is being accused of stealing the idea of one UK-based college student and developer — Greg Hughes. In May 2010, Hughes submitted an app for consideration called Wi-Fi Sync, which allowed users to sync their iTunes libraries wirelessly. 

Rather than receive the standard rejection email, Hughes reportedly got a call from an iPhone developer relations representative letting him know that his app was "admirable," but that some unspecified security concerns prevented it from being accepted. "They did say that the iPhone engineering team had looked at it and were impressed," Hughes told The Register. "They asked for my CV as well."

But rather than back down, Hughes simply submitted the app to the Cydia store, where it's sold more than 50,000 copies in a little more than a year. At $9.99 a pop, it's fair to say that Hughes made out quite nicely from his decision, though he declined to say how much he profited. 

That didn't pad the surprise that Hughes received earlier in the week, when Apple unveiled a number of key features for its upcoming iOS 5. One key feature, aptly named Wi-Fi Sync, does exactly what Hughes' rejected version did. Furthermore, Apple's icon for the app bears a striking resemblance to Hughes original design (see photo).

"Obviously I was fairly shocked," Hughes told The Register. "I'd been selling my app with that name and icon for at least a year. Apple knew that, as I'd submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that." 

The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a list of other jailbreak developers that have been subject to similar "borrowing" by Apple.

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RE: Nice...
By xCross on 6/10/2011 12:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
And that is exactly what Apple is.

RE: Nice...
By MrBlastman on 6/10/11, Rating: 0
RE: Nice...
By MrBlastman on 6/10/2011 1:51:27 PM , Rating: 2
Parc not Park :-|

RE: Nice...
By tng on 6/10/2011 5:42:57 PM , Rating: 2
For clarity Palo Alto Research Center= PARC

RE: Nice...
By superstition on 6/10/2011 7:52:06 PM , Rating: 1
Apple paid Xerox for the tour.

The New Yorker:

"Jobs proposed a deal: he would allow Xerox to buy a hundred thousand shares of his company for a million dollars—its highly anticipated I.P.O. was just a year away—if PARC would 'open its kimono.'

Jobs was given a couple of tours, and he ended up standing in front of a Xerox Alto, PARC’s prized personal computer. Describes the innovations the Alto featured, including the mouse, icons, and 'windows.' Xerox soon began selling a version of the Alto. It was a flop—and Xerox withdrew from personal computers."

Another part of this story is the intense development process that went into making the Lisa computer. A smaller, but also intense, extension of that project yielded the Macintosh. The notion that the Lisa and Mac are just the Alto repackaged is ludicrous.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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