There is an application which turns your iPhone into a pint of beer. As you tilt the iPhone, the beer on the display “empties”. Keep tilting the iPhone and eventually your iPhone looks like an empty pint of beer.
Here’s the rub. There are two applications which do this. One is Hottrix’s iBeer and the other is Carling’s (Molson-Coors) iPint. iBeer costs $3 for the application, while iPint is free. The problem is why would you spend $3 for a silly app when you can get it for free?
Who poured first?
Both applications were released July 11th in the iPhone application store. Hottrix claims they demonstrated a video of the application back in August 2007. Their lawyer says Coors must have gotten their idea from the video. They filed a $12.5 million dollar lawsuit and Apple removed the application from their store. Apple also has the power to remove it from all iPhones, but there are no reports it has happened yet.
When iPint (Carling version for those keeping track) was removed, iBeer sales shot up to the top 25 most popular paid applications. But really, isn’t $12.5 million dollars just extortion? I looked for the Carling app before writing the article, but it was already removed.
I did notice there was another application, 40cozy.com’s pour1out that also does the same thing. Another free application, but they’re not even in the battle. The reason? Because Coors is a major corporation with marketing power, and 40cozy.com is just some small company that sells cozys for your beer.
Is this really as cool as a free light saber?
Personally I think $12.5 million dollars is a stretch even if they can prove they had the application first. $12.5 million dollars buys 4,166,666 copies of the application. Apple hasn’t sold 4 million iPhones yet, so Hattrix is suing for more sales of their beer app than Apple has sold phones. Of course Hattrix is most likely adding pain and suffering too because no one was buying their beer application.
Of course Coors is a major corporation (translation: super evil bunny killers), so there may have been some idea stealing. I’m not sure Hattrix has a case however. If I decided I wanted to create a word processing program, Microsoft can’t sue me for stealing the idea (or Lotus or WordStar or whoever first created the first word processor). So why can Hattrix sue Coors for writing a competing program? Seems like the case is on thin beer to me (was that just a jab at Coors beer??). Of course I’m not a lawyer; I just play one after a few beers. Should be interesting to see who wins.
I hope its Coors. I’m not paying $3 for a silly application.
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