‘Flappy Bird’ Knockoffs Proliferate Even As Creator Fights Back
Gears Studio, the company owned by Flappy Bird creator Nguyen Ha Dong, has begun hunting down clones of the game in order to protect the developer’s intellectual property this week, coincidentally beginning their legal battle just as a clone of the game called Feisty Chicken was released to promote Netflix’s hit series Orange is the New Black.
Bloomberg News reported on the attempts by the creator of Flappy Bird to control the games image and its future after creator Nguyen Ha Dong pulled the famous game from Apple’s App Store. The article there summarizes the content of one of the cease-and-desist letters sent to the creator of a Flappy Bird clone called Duck Run. The article goes on to say:
“Todd Moore, who developed ‘Duck Run,’ defended his game, saying it doesn’t infringe on Gears’s intellectual property. ‘Duck Run’ has been among the top 500 most-downloaded apps in 20 countries since it came out in February, according to research firm App Annie. Moore is also the creator of White Noise, a popular app to help users sleep. ‘It’s a duck,’ Moore says. ‘I’m not taking it down. In no way does my game infringe on anything that was in ‘Flappy Bird ‘when it was available.'”
TechDirt reports on another case, involving one Flappy Bird: Remake. The game’s description, as quoted, acknowledges the original Flappy Bird and distances itself from it while claiming trademark rights on the phrase Flappy Bird: Remake itself. The TechDirt article notes that Flappy Bird: Remake is not actually trademarked in the United States, and also that it would be difficult to see how it could even be asserted that it has a common-law trademark considering the pending patent and trademark application Dong Nguyen has already filed for Flappy Bird.
They also note that the screenshot for the game in the App Store is not actually a screenshot for Flappy Bird: Remake, but for the original game.
This must be embarrassing for Samuel David, the creator of the remake.
Meanwhile, people looking for a legal Flappy Bird fix need look no further than Feisty Chicken, the game put out to promote the new season of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. (See Inquisitr’s coverage of early season 2 spoilers here.)
The game features pixelated avatars representing the characters on the show and involves flying season 1’s infamous Sasquatch-on-the-yard (a chicken) through a prison-themed background.
Forbes reviews the game, which clearly avoids recycling any graphics or copyrighted text while attempting to replicate its gameplay.