App Store search spam -- can we get a rejection for that?

Go to the iTunes App Store, search for an app you want, and get your results flooded with spam-apps. Its a growing problem as unscrupulous developers keep finding new and annoying ways to try and game Apple's approval process and scam users. highlights some of the worst offenders, but more importantly offers legitimate developers a way to take action:

When an app is infringing on your copyright or trademark, the proper procedure is to send a clear notice to citing your intellectual property and which apps are infringing it (provide their iTunes URLs to eliminate ambiguity). As part of this notice for trademark infringements, you can request that apps not be allowed to use your trademark to market themselves in search results (keyword spam).

Hopefully Apple will save developers the frustration and


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

App Store search spam -- can we get a rejection for that?


Some of the spam I've seen simply make passing reference to another app, such as: "We are cheaper than XYZ app".
Can Apple really fix this without eliminating full text search in the app store and requiring specific search terms, each of which would have to be vetted?
What constitutes an infringing reference? Mentioning another apps name? (What happens when someone names their app "THIS"?
I wonder if the cure would be worse than the abuse? Wouldn't this tend to lead to cat fights between developers?
We deal with this sort of stuff on a daily basis and somehow muddle thru. Bing TV ads make a big deal of "search overload", but in reality, Bing usage is dropping, and Google's is still growing, so the problem must be something we have learned to deal with.

Type the word "dating" into the app store. The company called "sexy fun dating" is a horrible, horrible offender of this type of garbage. We need a search filter or a block button in the app store.

Also, it's blatantly obvious they only named the company "sexy fun dating" so that their apps will come up in a search for any of those three words. Apple WTF?! SWING YOUR BANHAMMER

NOOOOOOO!!!! TiPb has resorted to google banner ads on their mobile version! Please take them down! :(

@Hakala Wow, really bummed at your comment. We're trying our best to provide great content and hope to support the site as unobtrusively as possible. Was kind of hoping our readers would have our back.
We're not running intercepts or artificially doing 10-page click-throughs. Not even asking anyone to engage the ads if they don't want to.
An iPhone site not running ads on the iPhone isn't very realistic.
Sad now :(

Ha, I had to scroll around to find the ad hakala was talking about. I didn't notice it the first time around. What's that thing Icebike was saying about putting up with advertising? ;)