iPhone developer sues Coors for $12.5M

Hottrix, a small company that developed the iBeer application for iPhone and iPod Touch devices is suing Coors for $12.5M.

The claim, in a 12 page filing, is that rival application iPint is violating a copyright that the iBeer author Steve Sheraton registered.

Both applications display a virtual pint which when the device is tipped to one side mimics a real pint of lager being consumed.

Sheraton stresses that the iBeer technique was "wholly original ... and is copyrightable subject matter." Sheraton then complained to Apple, which eventually removed iPint from the App Store in the United States. However, iPint still appears in the App Store in other countries.

"We are confident that we've handled this matter appropriately, and will vigorously defend the action," Coors said in a statement.

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28 Comments

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This is a pointless app and definitely just an attempt to try and make a quick buck. If I were the judge I would laugh at both of them in their faces while in court and dismiss the whole thing, good thing here in the US we can waste everyone's legal time for nothing.

Or, as an alternative to suing over pointless crap, you could just... I dunno... get a JOB.

Waiting for someone to rip off your completely lame iPhone "app", and then suing is not a job, it's a giant waste of everyone's time.

The claim, in a 12 page filing, is that rival application iPint is violating a copyright that the iBeer author Steve Sheraton registered.

AFAIK it is a patent matters and not a copyright infringement.

They're just ****ed because iPint is free, and so much better.
iBeer costs about 89p I think, and isnt a smooth animation, its laggy. iPint is free, completely smooth and fluid, and has a fun minigame built in.

So they both use a motion sensor to depict a drink being consumed? And now one wishes to sue the other because they came up with it first? Ludicrous. You shouldn't be able to protect generic ideas, let alone sue for millions of dollars.

Shouldn't this be a patent instead of a copyright anyway? You can't copyright an idea or technique, but you can patent them. If Coors isn't using any of his images or code, then the suit should fail without question.

Uhhhh, hell...id sue for a life time supply of beer...not 12 mil...haha...but seriously...this is something really dumb to sue about when there are a lot of other stuff to worry about.

iSue - my new app for the iPhone... with just one finger you can sue who ever you want, it will file the application, pull fees for it out of your bank account and notify the defendant of the pending suit all with one press

woah woah, back it up buddy. i'm already working on an app called 'iScrew' that does exactly what you just said. my lawyers will be contacting you soon enough :P

geez. stupid developers fighting over a useless software idea, which are used by people with questionable tastes ...

how pointless can this be?

this sounds exactly like the kind of news some crappy sites would report in april ...

There's a whole bunch of pointless duped apps on there. When the app store first opened, there were about 5-10 flashlight apps and only one of them was decent!

The little guy is only going after the big guy in this case because they know theres a good chance of getting money out of it.