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I have an online service that adds on additional features to an existing online service. It's currently only accessible via desktop. It has free features and premium features that are offered via a subscription service.

I've recently created an app version and applied to the Apple App Store. After a few back and forths with Apple, they have responsed with

Guideline 3.2.2(vii) - Business - Other Business Model Issues - Unacceptable

Your app contains content or features that may violate the rights of one or more third parties.

****Removed one line for confidentiality here. It was pointing out which features were specifically out of line(basically the core features)****

Your app and its contents should not infringe upon the rights of another party. In the event your app infringes another party’s rights, you are responsible for any liability to Apple because of a claim.

Next Steps

To resolve this issue, please remove any features or functionality that ****Removed for confidentiality. Above features****.

I don't think that it infringes upon the rights of the other company since it only adds features and it does not affect the revenue stream of the other company. In fact it may increase their revenue.

Google has approved the app already.

Could anybody shed some light on what my options might be? Or if this is the end of the road? Also if these details are too little and you need more?

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  • Clearly it infringes on their rights or you would have permission from them to publish it and would be able to demonstrate that. If you want to waste money and time on questioning this, you need a lawyer. – Nij Mar 29 at 7:34
  • @Nij Does Apple question the company directly about this? Also Google has already approved it so I’m curious as to why there’s conflicting statements – Trevor Wood Mar 29 at 8:04
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    Googles approval process is significantly laxer than Apples, so the fact that Google “approves” of your business model is no indication that Apples decision is wrong. – Moo Mar 29 at 8:50
  • @Nij I like the "if you want to waste money and time you need a lawyer" :-) – gnasher729 Mar 29 at 8:59
  • You kind of ignored a key phrase, "on questioning this", because the majority of lawyers are good and even they won't get anywhere arguing a clear set of rules. – Nij Mar 29 at 9:07
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Apple has rules for publishing apps on the App Store, and either you follow the rules, or your app won't go on the App Store, simple as that. What you do is either not put your app on the App Store, or make the changes they ask you to make.

Why are there conflicting statements? Because Apple and Google are different companies. Does Apple ask the other company? No, why would they spend their time on this, when they can ask you to make the changes?

In the end, Apple has huge pockets, so they are not going to approve anything that might give a company a way to take money out of their pocket. What you want to do sounds very much like it could give some company a pretext to sue Apple; that's one thing that Apple won't let happen.

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