Copycat apps are a big problem that goes mostly unchecked, but Apple recently sent a message to serial copycats that this sort of behavior isn't entirely tolerated.
Just before Superbowl weekend, Apple removed a whole mess of "clone" apps from the iTunes App Store, including Plant vs. Zombie, Angry Ninja Bird, and Temple Jump. Yeah, very creative titles, right? For anyone not into the mobile gaming scene, those are clear rip-offs of Plants vs. Zombies, Angry Birds, and Temple Run, all highly successful mobile games. Incidentally, Temple Jump enjoyed some level of popularity before it was removed.
All of the offending titles removed on Friday belonged to indie developer Anton Sinelnikov. According to a tweet by fellow indie iOS dev David Smith, Sinelnikov's 68 apps were chopped by 57, leaving him with just 11 apps.
"Clone" apps are by no means a new thing, but platform holders rarely intervene, making Sinelnikov a special case. As of now, Apple's system does have a few methods of monitoring apps, but users cannot flag blatant copycats -- only offensive content or bugs.