UPDATE: Zippo and Moderati respond.

This seems to be a new trend going on in Apple's App Store as of late. A few weeks back TiPb mentioned how Coors was being sued for 12 million dollars by a small time iPhone developer of a small gimmicky app, iBeer. Well yesterday we received a news tip telling us the story of how Zippo has allegedly stole the idea of the small developer regarding their app store application, iLighter. [iTunes link] I say "allegedly" because I want to fair to both parties and we only have one side of the story here. We did contact Zippo and Moderati to get a response to the accusations, we'll let you know if they have any official comments they can make.

You can read the developers full story at www.zippostolemyapp.com. Be warned, it is a bit lengthy but I can give you a quick overview. An iPhone developer claims to have brought the idea of iLighter to Zippo. Zippo seemed to be interested in working together to get the app to the App Store. Communication was then ended abruptly by Zippo when they sent a letter demanding to remove their name from the app. A few months later, surprise, Zippo had a lighter app available on the App Store - Virtual Zippo Lighter. [iTunes Link]

If this is indeed all true that is a hit below the belt from Zippo. Especially for such a large company, very poor move on their part. On the other hand, there were a few other lighter apps in the App Store before either iLighter or Virtual Zippo Lighter ever appeared. So what is your take on all of this? Sound off in the comments!

[Thanks for the tip, dummaloop]