Apple settles lawsuit with developer over App Store scam apps

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Apple has reached a settlement with Kosta Eleftheriou, a developer who sued the company over scams in the App Store and copycat keyboards.

Eleftheriou is known for highlighting fake reviews on the App Store, as well as the prevalence of scam apps. He developed FlickType, an Apple Watch keyboard.

He found an abundance of apps that copied FlickType, with these competitors even going so far as to steal his promo videos. Eleftheriou expressed his frustration with the App Store review team over the apps' copied-and-pasted reviews with five-star ratings.

He sued Apple in 2021 after Apple released the Apple Watch Series 7. Thanks to the device's larger screen, the company released a full keyboard for it with swiping capabilities.

Apple rejected FlickType numerous times in the past but didn't remove the copycat apps, and Eleftheriou said he lost revenue as a result. Eleftheriou said he was in talks with Apple over a potential acquisition, and filed the lawsuit when he found the Apple Watch Series 7 keyboard similar to FlickType.

The suit further alleged that Apple does little to police the App Store because it benefits from developers pushing high-priced subscriptions onto users.

According to a report on Thursday, Apple has settled the lawsuit with Eleftheriou. A request for dismissal of the lawsuit was filed on July 21, 2022 after Apple and Kpaw, Inc, Eleftheriou's company, finalized an agreement.

The terms of the settlement aren't clear.

Users can report scam apps in the App Store after Apple brought back a tool called "Report a Problem" in 2021. It's listed in the Information section, alongside details such as age rating, category, and more.