No one knows the wrath of Apple's legal department better than yours truly, that's why I've been especially sensitive of the company's legal tactics over the past few years.
You'll remember Apple's voracious defense of the iPhone interface by shutting down iPhone theme designs released for competing phones like the BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile, RAZR, etc. What's wrong with that case is that Apple legal has threatened Web sites that simply link to or post screen shots of the cribbed iPod UI.
And then there's the iPod domain names, etc.
The most recent target of Apple's legal beagles is PocketMac, a publisher of Mac smartphone sync software. Apparently PocketMac's MacThemes for BlackBerry (pictured above) are just a little too close to Apple's trademark icons for Mail, Address Book, iCal, iPhoto, Spotlight and others.
They themes were being sold for US$10:
...have you ever wanted to remake your BlackBerry into a Mini Macintosh? Now you can.
We've crafted a new tool so that you can give your BlackBerry the look and feel of a Mac -- complete with all the icons and images you love. The PocketMac MacTheme™ for BlackBerry is available right now and will work on almost all of the BlackBerry handhelds available today.
In an email to customers, PocketMac explains their decision to stop selling the themes:
Occasionally a good idea catches on and becomes wildly successful. Our recent release of the PocketMac MacThemes for BlackBerry has been one of those, and we are grateful for so much enthusiasm around this product. The look and feel makes Mac users feel right at home.
Now we have some disappointing news… the folks at Apple feel that our look and feel is TOO similar to the Macintosh, and have asked us to stop selling it. Because we have great respect for Apple specifically, and for the principles of copyright protection in general, we are going to do as they request immediately.
Our plan is to rework the designs so that we can provide a similarly comfortable user interface on the BlackBerry that also respects everyone's copyrights. So, we'll have our artists come up with something dazzling that we can share with you without accidentally stepping on anyone's toes.
Anyone who purchased our first version will be eligible to a free upgrade to our next version, of course!