Doodle Jump studio Lima Sky, via Apple, is telling developers who use the word 'Doodle' in their games' titles to change the name or remove their games from the App Store.
Robots Vs. Wizards, the developer of Doodle Monster, posted on the Touch Arcade forums yesterday to say, “well after a full year it looks like using the word "Doodle" violates Lima Sky's copyright.”
It originally intended to change the app name to avoid Lima Sky’s wrath. But since then other developers have jumped in to say they’ve received similar messages from Lima Sky. Forum poster Acceleroto says he’s been in contact with Lima Sky over his game Doodle Hockey, but is refusing to change the name.
Lima Sky holds a US trademark for the name 'Doodle Jump', and one for the central character’s design. But Acceleroto argues that the development house doesn’t have a leg to stand on in claiming ownership of the word 'Doodle'.
"If we all stand together on this, the little guy won't be so little. I'm fighting this. You should too."
Our brothers in arms at PocketGamer.biz spoke to Lima Sky founder Igor Pusenjak, who said, "We are required by USPTO [US Patent and Trademark Office] to monitor and police our trade marks. If we don't, we lose them."
The case is reminiscent of the Langdell-'Edge' debacle, and the Com2uS episode in which the Korean publisher forced developers to avoid their trademark of the term 'Tower Defense', with the result that many developers adopted 'TD' as an alternative.
There are currently over 730 applications on the App Store with the word 'Doodle' in their titles. And, it should be noted, several of them came before Lima Sky’s game.
Last we heard, back in June 2010, Doodle Jump has racked up over 5 million paid downloads.