Is Apple iOS 5 WiFi Sync a rip off rejected app from 2010?

Good ol' Apple will pull out all the stops to protect its patents and trot out an army of lawyers that would make any developer or competitor nervous. However, when it comes to playing by its own rules for protecting IP that it wants, Apple doesn't always stick to its own rules. About year ago, we talked about the WiFi Sync app created by a college student developer named Greg Hughes. The developer created an app called WiFi Sync along with a little logo and the whole works and submitted it to the App Store for approval.

Hughes said about a month after the submission he received a rejection. Apparently, Apple went so far as to call Hughes up and say the app was admirable, but the folks looking at the app had security fears. Folks at Apple did ask for the guy's resume too. Hughes didn't make a big fuss about it, simply took the app, and put it on the Cydia store for unlocked iPhone users to enjoy where it is a top seller. You can image that Hughes was shocked when WiFi Sync in iOS 5 was unveiled using the exact name of his app and a logo that is a virtual dead ringer for his.

Hughes said, "Obviously I was fairly shocked. I'd been selling my app with that name and icon for at least a year. Apple knew that, as I'd submitted it to them, so it was surprising to see that." What happens next? There is no indication of what Hughes will do at this point; perhaps he will sue Apple for stealing his idea. Even then Apple might be able to get away with the old "we were already working on it when you submitted" defense.

[via The Register]