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Apple reportedly bans 'memory' games from App Store

Because of a German company's alleged ownership of the word "memory" in game titles, Apple is telling developers of certain iOS games to change their apps' names or risk having them removed, says a report.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil
2 min read
One of Ravensburger's card-matching Memory games. Ravensburger

Apple is reportedly warning developers of iOS games with the word "memory" in the title that unless they change their app's name, it will be removed from the Apple Store.

The notices are being sent at the behest of Ravensburger, a German game maker that sells a popular series of board games under the brand "Memory" and claims to hold the trademark for the word "memory" in game titles in some 42 countries, according to a report in Gamasutra.

Darren Murtha, developer of the popular Preschool Memory Match, told Gamasutra he was too busy to come up with a new name and opted to remove it from all 42 countries. "We plan on changing the name in those countries and uploading a new version early next year," he said.

A quick search of the U.S. Apple App Store returns dozens of games with "memory" in their titles, most of them card-matching memory games similar to Memory. Though Ravensburger doesn't hold the trademark in the United States, the apps may be available under their same names in Apple's international app stores.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Ravensburger claims its trademark applies in the following countries: Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela.