How did I steal my own logo?

Two days ago I have uploaded a new version of Helicon Books Android EPUB3 Reading application. This was a minor update to the existing version that has been in google play for about two years now.

About 2 hours later, I received an email from google play, stating my application was rejected and that if this is an update to an existing version the older version is still there. The reason for rejection was: “Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior”

I looked at google play and it seemed they removed the older version. This was very stressing as this reading app. is the most popular reading application in Israel and major product of Helicon Books.

I tried contacting google but got no response (they said they will respond within 72 hours) We tried to figure out what intellectual property to we violate? The only thing we came up with was a digital signature of the Helicon Books cloud, the app. stored a copy of this signature for validation purposes. We don’t need it any more since we now use third party SSL signature that is verifiable and accepted by Android, so we could simply remove it (older versions of Helicon Books cloud contained self signed https signature). We removed it and uploaded the app. again. But again after 2.5 hours I got the same mail, this was even more stressing as I didn’t have any idea what intellectual property to I violate?

My guess was that it is more important to look at the second part of the rejection reason “impersonation or deceptive behavior” I recalled that about a year ago I uploaded an app. that included subset of the full app. designed only for books that I wrote. This app. used the same logo, so I thought that their automatic algorithm has rejected the new update after it found that another app. uses the same logo. This was easy to solve,  I removed the other app. from google play and simply resubmitted the latest update without actually changing anything.

Within 30 minutes, I have seen that google play was showing the latest version. I waited for 3 hours to see if I get any rejection mail and fortunately no rejection mail arrived.

Apparently google has tighten their acceptance rules for applications which is good I think, however their automatic algorithm didn’t look how owned the other app. If they would have looked, they would find out that I impersonate myself :-)

So now everything is resolved and people can enjoy the new app.

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