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Did Apple steal the Wi-Fi Sync feature for iOS 5 from a developer whose similar app was rejected?

Did Apple steal the Wi-Fi Sync feature for iOS 5 from a developer whose similar app was rejected?
When Apple recently introduced iOS 5, it mentioned a new feature called "Wi-Fi Sync". This allows an iOS user with a device connected to a power source to automatically sync and back-up the device to iTunes via a Wi-Fi connection. To University of Birmingham student Greg Hughes, this sounded awfully familiar. Hughes had submitted an app to the App Store with the same exact name and practically the same logo that Apple rolled out earlier last week. Unfortunately, Apple had rejected the submission.

After rejecting Hughes' app for the App Store, an Apple representative called to tell him that while the app technically did not break any rules, it did "encroach upon the boundaries" of what can be offered in the App Store. Hughes didn't drop the project, instead he listed his app in the Cydia store aimed at jail-broken devices and sold over 50,000 copies of his "Wi-Fi Sync".

When the student learned about Apple's introduction of its "Wi-Fi Sync", he was shocked and surprised. Hughes had been selling his version of "Wi-Fi Sync for a year. Apple had known about his software and he felt that the Cupertino-based firm had "pinched it for iOS 5". And while the App Store representative he spoke on the phone with last year had told him how impressed with his work the iPhone engineering team was, Hughes has received some legal advice and plans on defending himself and his work.

As the App Store continues to grow, it might be harder and harder for Apple to avoid stepping on the toes of small developers like Greg Hughes, which makes this a legal matter to watch as it moves through the legal system. If it does become a lawsuit,we would not be surprised to see Apple offer a settlement to make it go away.

source: AppleInsider

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