Google has pulled Themer, a popular Android home screen customization app, from its Google Play Store following a complaint from Apple over one of the themes included in the app.

"Seven", one of more than 200 themes within the app, was designed to make an Android phone look like an iPhone running iOS 7. It incorporated multiple Apple design elements and several icons, including Phone, Mail, Messages, Maps, Music, and more.

seven

Image courtesy of Lifehacker

Though the app and the theme have been in the Google Play Store since at least October, Themer was removed on February 2 for copyright infringement following a copyright complaint from Apple. Given the app's resemblance to iOS 7, it is no surprise that Apple, a company that rigorously defends its property, asked for the theme to be removed.

According to Themer CEO Ashvin Dhingra, who spoke to TechCrunch, the Seven theme was immediately removed from the app following Apple's notice, but Google opted to remove the app from its Play Store entirely and has yet to restore it.

"We've spoken to legal representatives from Apple (who have been very nice, reasonable, and helpful), and they have no remaining concerns. But apparently, Google has a process for these things, and there's nothing we can do to accelerate that process. Unfortunately, we still have not heard from anyone at Google."

While Themer has been able to settle its dispute with Apple by removing the offending iOS 7-style theme, the company is running into some organizational hurdles with Google. Google seems to lack a point of contact overseeing the Google Play Store, which has resulted in Themer contacting multiple people with little result.

It remains unclear when Themer will return to the Google Play Store, but Apple's issue with the app has been successfully resolved.

Update: Google has notified the developers of Themers that the app will be returned to the Play Store within the next few hours.

Top Rated Comments

musika Avatar
104 months ago
The real mystery is who would actually want those awful iOS 7 icons on their phone?
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Swift Avatar
104 months ago
I'm trying to understand

I'd like to talk over the question of trademark, etc., but really who cares here? I am curious as to the psychology of the Android fan who likes to hang around talking smack about Apple on an Apple site.

I mean, I'm not remotely interested in hanging around an Android fan site. Not to disparage Android, it's not my thing. Why would I hang around such a site calling its fans all kind of names? I can't think of a single reason.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BJMRamage Avatar
104 months ago
damn really? if i was apple id be happy that someone wants to skin my OS

I guess if you like the look, they want you to buy the Apple.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
notjustjay Avatar
104 months ago
That's why you're not Apple. If there's even the slimmest of chances that someone could buy an Android phone instead of an iPhone because of confusion that the Android has iOS or buys the Android because of the iOS design, they'll go after it.

Yes, there are numerous reasons why Apple should protect their intellectual property, even if they are flattered that someone likes their look.

Lost sales due to confusion is one.
Brand dilution is another. What if this app (or some other app which copies Apple look and feel) was crashy and unreliable? Someone might think it was an actual Apple product and think "Apple isn't so great. I'm not buying their products."
There is also the concept of trademark erosion, where one company's trademark becomes used so commonly in other places, and the company fails to stop it from happening, then it is no longer a protected trademark.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nzalog Avatar
104 months ago
I'd like to talk over the question of trademark, etc., but really who cares here? I am curious as to the psychology of the Android fan who likes to hang around talking smack about Apple on an Apple site.

I mean, I'm not remotely interested in hanging around an Android fan site. Not to disparage Android, it's not my thing. Why would I hang around such a site calling its fans all kind of names? I can't think of a single reason.

Android comes with loneliness and lots of time in grandma's basement installing ROMs. Your few friends give up on you since when they do call or text, you are working on your phone and their calls don't come through. People need some sort of social outlet, why not trash on people who seem happy.

At least that is how I portray it in my head.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bookwormsy Avatar
104 months ago
damn really? if i was apple id be happy that someone wants to skin my OS

That's why you're not Apple. If there's even the slimmest of chances that someone could buy an Android phone instead of an iPhone because of confusion that the Android has iOS or buys the Android because of the iOS design, they'll go after it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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