When a legal tug of war between a small developer and a multi-billion dollar corporation erupts, it usually signals the beginning of "the end" for the little guy. Somehow, iBeer has managed to avoid being wrangled into submission. Last week, Hottrix, a privately owned, self described "mom and pop shop" filed a federal lawsuit against Coors for copyright infringement and even posted a copy of it on their website.
iBeer is an application that allows users over 256 customizable ways to create a beer that you can shake up, and make foam. Apple has played referee in this fight by removing iPint, the Coors beer drinking application.
In many ways the developers appear to be benefiting from the legal headache. iBeer is currently one of the top twenty five paid apps. On their site, there are now more than a dozen links to articles written on the suit. Not to mention the additional traffic the site has seen as a result. Sheraton says that they "want all interested parties to have as much background information as possible."
When questioned about whether the novelty of a beer drinking application will wear off before their fight with Coors ends, the former TV performer chimes "…Never, once you see iBeer performed you have to have one for yourself. It's just too bizarrely funny" says Sheraton.
He also offers advice for new developers; he says "Protect your product from the first moment on. Finding a good law firm specializing in intellectual property should be among the top bullet points in your to-do list…"
Hottrix has not been pushed away from the development table. They currently have 2 apps in the Apple approval queue and 3 in development. In fact, Sheraton gushes about a couple of new apps he just can't get enough of. "My favorite app is iMilk (you can shake it into whipped cream) and iMunchies (an iPhone popcorn machine).
For more information about iBeer vs. iPint head on over to Hottrix.