Playsaurus' Clicker Heroes, an idle game available on PC, consoles, and mobile platforms, has been removed from the iOS App Store worldwide. This occurred after Chinese company Shenzhen Lingyou Technology Co., Ltd. made a clone of the game and acquired the trademark in the region despite the name already being in use by Playsaurus.
As of May 24th, Clicker Heroes is in the process of being reinstated outside of China. This could take up to three days, according to Apple.
You can read the original Reddit thread explaining the situation here.
TechRaptor reached out to Playsaurus and Apple for comment. Apple did not respond, but here's what Playsaurus co-founder Thomas Wolfley told us:
"There was a long back-and-forth between us and the Chinese 3rd party, using Apple's dispute process. The Chinese 3rd party registered a trademark for a name after it was already being used in our game. In the U.S., that's not valid, but in China, it appears that's the way their laws work (which I was unaware of at the time of the dispute).
"We couldn't come to an agreement with each other - we didn't want to comply with any of the 3rd party's demands, and Apple had to make a decision about what to do, and that's when they shut us down worldwide. We sent many emails and appealed through their web system, in addition to posting online about what happened. One of those things got through to someone (not sure which) because yesterday they re-instated Clicker Heroes in regions outside of China. That process should take 24-72 hours according to the e-mail we received, so it should be fully reinstated outside of China by Monday.
"We're still shut down in China, and I don't think there's any recourse, and I don't blame Apple for doing that. Changing our name in China kills any revenue we were getting in that region, and we'd have to trademark the new name or someone will just steal it again, so we're just going to stay shut down over there."
Fortunately, Clicker Heroes is reinstated outside of China, but the game's future within China hardly seems optimistic. Nor is the fact that another company wielded that much power and cost the developer a good amount of time and money.
What do you think? Do you have any insight into Chinese trademark law? Do you think it's crazy that Clicker Heroes was taken down worldwide? Let us know in the comments!