Popular Reddit app Readit can't be released for Windows 10 due to squatter reserving name (Update)

Edit: In the last hour, the developer of Readit has posted that Microsoft has addressed the problem. Readit for Windows 10 is now back on track.

We have been a huge fan of Readit for Windows Phone over the past couple of years. It's the best third-party client for the OS to check up on the Reddit goings on. However, someone else has reserved the name "Readit" in the Windows Store, and as a result, the Readit devs cannot launch a universal Windows 10 app.

The team revealed this huge issue, naturally, on Reddit today. As explained by team member Caleb Keith, it's apparently due to Microsoft's rules about app names in the Windows Store:

"They won't even tell me when it expires, let alone who it is. There is nothing they can do apparently (I question this). I tried to reserve it last year, same thing happened. It lasts a full year. I try this year, same result. Waited another 2 months (since it can take 2 months after expiration to release) after it was supposed to expire, same result. They said it was reserved by someone else this time. Guess we are screwed with that."

You might wonder if the solution is simply to change the name of the app, but in this case Keith says this is not an option:

"We can't change our branding as we have an agreement in place with our current branding and the use of the Reddit api."

Obviously, this is a problem with the Windows Store app policies and we hope that the Readit team can convince Microsoft to force this "troll" squatter to give up his rights to the name so that the Windows 10 version can be released.

Download Readit 2.1 for Windows Phone

QR: readit

Source: Reddit

152 Comments
  • That's crap, there needs to be a system in place to free up app names. For people who own the brand!!!
  • This is going to keep on happening as the phone and the desktop OS becomes one. Maybe the readit team should buy the name from the troll
  • They don't know who it is. And Microsoft won't tell them.
  • for some reason i can see the Readit app on my PC running Windows 10 tech preview, in the Store (Beta).
    the developer shows as "Message Across Studios".
    it even says i own the app.
    only problem is i can't seem to install it. it fails with error 0x80240024.
  • That's because the Windows 10 Store has the history of all the apps you've purchased on Windows Phone and Windows 8/8.1/RT. But you can't download Windows Phone apps on Windows 10 for obvious reasons; at least not until a Universal Windows binary for the app is released.
  • Maybe Microsoft shouldn't let people reserve app names. If someone has a genuine, functional app ready to publish then they should get the name (barring copyright issues). If it's the name of a popular mainstream app then contract that app's developer and tell them either they commit to porting their app to Windows within X months, or they lose the name.
  • NO, just limit the length of time of the reservation.  Produce an app in that time period or lose the right to reserve it again.
  • No, they should subpeona the information from MS (if possible) as part of a criminal proceeding for trademark infringement.  Spend that money on court fees instead of paying this person/group blackmail fees.  This is especially true if they are just squatting the name and haven't released an app.  The only way this should be viable is if the other person(s) owned the name prior to the Readit app existing and owning trademark.  If they don't own trademark, then yeah, they are gonna need to suck it up and probably pay.
  • We're all making some big assumptions here that Readit actually has a trademark on the name.   Maybe ReadIt is just a generic document reading application and actually has a trademark.   As far as we know it's a company like this: http://www.schoolfreeware.com/TypeIt_ReadIt.html
  • "Maybe the readit team should buy the name from the troll" That won't encourage more name squatting at all.
  • I don't disagree.  I wonder why they can't work with Reddit to amend their current api agreement to use a new name, however.
  • Better yet, more people should do what I did.  Send an email to contact@reddit.com and ask them to port their iOS or Android app over to Windows 10.  That way, they already have copywrite on "REDDIT" and can easily put their app in the store.
  • Pay him...
  • So it's you who stole their name!
  • To me it seems pretty simple. If Reddit has their name trademarked can't they sue for use of the name? To me it seems similar to the guys from The Pirates Bay getting in trouble for hosting a website that others use illegally. Microsoft is allowing someone to illegally use a trademark name / brand without the owners concent
  • It's not Reddit. It's a third party Reddit app called Readit. I doubt you can trademark a generic name like readit.
  • well, king did, with "candy" crush
  • Absolutely this is ridiculous, I deserve only a few names (1 for beta, 1 good official name for the Windows version, and 1 for an alternative when the Windows version changes)
  • This is simply not true... the registered name cannot be duplicated for obvious reasons but the name of the app and how it appears in the store can be duplicated.   Hence why there are hundreads of apps named stopwatch etc. I had a simialr issue with an app I released. I had to register is as X_Y and it appears to everyone else as X Y.
  • Same thing happened with mytube when they transitioned from 8.0 to 8.1
  • Considering this is supposed to be one store full of universal apps, shouldn't the name already belong to the developer of read it?
  • My bosses boss tried to get our team onto slack. But the company name was taken and it wasn't by our company. Squatter. So, he named the subsite "companynameReal". LOL
  • It seems like there should be some prior use of the name clause that keeps that from happening.
  • That's very sad news. Can the community do anything?
  • Drop tweets containing anger and disgust for immature policies down Microsoft's throat. This also proves that Microsoft itself isn't aware of the top grade apps on it's platform's store.
  • Why so angry? This problem exists everywhere. Trademarks, generic patents, website registrations, everywhere. This abuse does need to stop, but what should one do? I mean, on the one hand someone was smart enough to reserve a name and squat to make profit, and on the other, the actual company cant reserve everything in advance of its existence. Finally, the places where this abuse occurs...they might be able to check if a reservable resource is indeed owned by those wishing to reserve it. Its a matter of business. Whose rights trump whose?
  • Um, it happened to me once and it was much worse than what read it devs were going through. Sucks mate :/
  • Yes it does suck, but the question he asked which you failed to answer with anything meaningful other than, it sucks.  Was, whos rights trumps whos.  Does your right to the name preceed the right of anothers, and if so, why.  Because if this ever happens, what will stop people from pushing smaller ones around all because of a preceived right?  I agree it sucks, something should be done.  But you simply cannot remove the name because, it sucks.
  • Report concern to Microsoft button in apps listing would be a start
  • You can't report an unreleased app.
  • With the recent updates this app is basically the same as Baconit. Which I switched from to Readit. Can't win :) Only difference now is you can tell what type of link something is in comments. No clue what possessed them to make the preview images so small you can barely see them. If I wanted a crappy interface I would use the website.  
  • How unfortunate.
  • KILL THE TROLL! Sorry, too much?
  • Oh god, that's must suck.
  • Just add a dot.
  • This won't matter to me if an official reddit app released.
  • But there are no official reddit apps -.-
  • I believe Alien Blue for iOS is considered official.
  • Exactly. If this troll created an app after readit was already establish in the Windows Phone store, then how does he have rights to the name? Microsoft should tell the troll he has to give it up to the one who had it first in the Windows Phone store. Better yet, why doesn't Reddit release an official app for Windows 10 and release it by their own name?
  • WTF. "Troll" if you are reading this then you should probably get a new app name and life. Seriously dude hand over the name to them. Think of it as a charity. Donate something. No money just their name.
  • "Their name"... Just to emphasize.
  • Kill the troll with fire and/or acid
  • A troll?  Lol that's a good one. They can just name it Readit for Windows 10.
  • Readit 10
  • Add an exclamation point like mytube! did lol
  • Unfortunately, I don't think they can do that as per the new naming scheme for Windows 10 apps.
  • Actually they have an agreement with Reddit already with the name 'Readit' so they would have to go all over again the old process(whatever that is) to change it to a new name. And whatever brand name recognition 'Readi't had will just go back to square one if they change the name, like blog articles, promotion and stuff. And they would have to start from scratch hence they aren't going that route.
  • Maybe they could use reddit as a conduit to get the app pulled claiming copyright infringement
  • Change the name. Readit sounds like a kindle app
  • Or you could pronounce "Readit" as in the past tense "I read a book yesterday" which makes it sound exactly like "reddit"... You're welcome.
  • Suupprrreeeemmmeee Victory
  • LOL I appreciate that. Especially the KI reference but I was just pointing out the (apparently not so) obvious. This app is in a unique place where it can take advantage of a mispronunciation of it's perceived name to match the main services name. Kinda cool. Really clever. If they thought of it, that is. I'm certain they have.
  • Annoying for them. Doesn't necessarily mean that someone has trolled, could be a genuine dev building some kind of reading app. I'm pretty sure that although difficult to change the name, not impossible.
  • Exactly...
  • Sure its a troll thing to do, but he did everything legal. You can't punish him because he did something properly and someone else wants it. I want my next website to be called google, stupid trolls took the name, i demand they give it up.
  • 2+ years and they haven't released a product though.
  • For Windows.   It's possible they actually do have a trademark on ReadIt.  Does ReadIt have a trademark on the name? If so then they should be able to legally force them to relinquish the name.  If they don't then they should have gotten a trademark on their product name and there isn't anything Microsoft or anyone can do if they followed the proper procedures.   Ford isn't required to have a Ford app.  They could simply sit on the app name so that nobody else can release a ford app. 
  • I agree
  • A friend of mine had the same issue, but i dont call this trolling. Who comes first gets first. Readit could reserve the name more then one year ago. I'm sorry to hear such cases but thats the reality. I was in a similar situation where i hav an app "WP Novosti", reserved the name "Windows Novosti" but the store guys rejected it every time because of the Windows name and trademark. I uderstand this o i named it "\Vindows Novosti" thats no trademark :) Readit could do the same, the agreement with Reddit is not a lifetime agreement, or?! Things can be changed. Why not reedit?! Maybe even an official app or app name licensing?! Reddit?! In the end i know this sounds harsh but Reader for Reddit is accepted in the store and does not violate any trademarks.
  • Um..... it would violate the "Reddit" brand trademark I'm fairly certain should they choose to pursue it (look at SnapChat clients and other popular ones that were pulled or forced to rename)
  • wow app names have become the websites.  those squatters stealing names and wait for it to be available. retarded.  Readit should remake their name Read-it instead
  • This! And many people on this list want companies to have rights to take names from people who don't use their reserved names? LOL. Obviously he should instead barter with that person for the name.
  • Having an actual published app in one store should override squatting on the name in another. If it can be shown that the Windows Phone app was published first it should win. This is probably happening all over the place, and this is just the first high profile case...
  • Nope mytube is a prime example of this which fd up the apps licensing coming from 8.x to 8.1.x
  • Its like buying web domain and selling it for money... Someone is looking for money from Readit
  • Change the name to Read!t.
  • Glad I saw this.  Just went ahead and reserved my app name.  Hopefully a bit of publicity here will 'encourage' Microsoft to take action on this, especially on such a popular app.
  • But Microsoft promised to exterminate troll/phony apps. I'm so gonna fight for this. They also need to add a badge of "A grade developer" on the apps of this sort that people use on large scale.
  • I was thinking the same thing. It's just like the hundred Flappy Bird apps.
  • Yep. Do you agree they need to add an "A grade developer" badge on official and popular apps? Maybe different for popular.
  • Where is the evidence that this is a troll/phony app? someone reserved a name, they didn't release an app. 
  • Reserved a name for a phony app, which is imminent for release*
  • And what are you basing that on? Where does it say they are planning on releasing an app? The sad truth is, it's the readit developers fault for not jumping on this ASAP. SOmoene beat them to the punch and is probably hoping for a payday.
  • I'm basing that on my experience. And nobody reserves a well-known name for no reason. Although I agree it's the readit developers problem but a troll app might be imminent for release. Happened to me (although it was only a school project). But whatever you say.
  • It's more than likely, as I said, a person looking for a payday. It's like people do with web domains and trademarks. Grab popular names and hope to get paid to give it up.
  • This means MS is not transferring the names of apps from WP store. This is really very crap policy. Anybody can register any famous brand and make money. Same thing happened when internet was evolving specially in 90s. Some random people were registering the domain names of famous companies.
    Imagine if somebody has already got app names of Rudy's apps.
    If MS can't handle this problem then they are basically screwing those developers who are making apps for WP. MS cannot attract new developers with such policies.
  • Wrong.  It's to protect developer's of their brands, yet also protect those with trademarks of those brands.  As per the latest update, Microsoft released the name to Readdit since they own it.  Their process works, but they need to make it a bit smoother and quicker.
  • Pay him
  • I caught the thief! This is DaveGx's second comment here asking them to pay the guy, so it must be you!
  • Similar incident happened to MyTube didn't it? The developer had to change MyTube to "MyTube!".
  • Yes
  • Hopefully this gets fixed
  • Get out the pitch forks...
  • Name it Reedit
  • I read the title of this article and assumed the name 'troll' is valid.  How can you call either an individual or company a 'troll' for purchasing a name, either a competitor has done so (well within thier right to do so or someone else has either to sell or to keep as they have a product called that as well.  Whatever the reason the fault is 100% to the original company for not having the forsight to reserve the name.  And secondly I have lost all respect for this particular' journalist' for call ing some one or a business entity a 'troll' without knowing the full reason.
  • Ayeeee keep calm and stop whining lmao
  • Reserving a well known name is shady if you aren't the company behind the well known name. You can hope it's all sunshine and flowers that they aren't doing this to screw over readit, but I have serious doubts, and previous cases like this point in the other direction.
  • No that's not fault of Readit. Eventually there will be one store and MS should allow transfer of WP 8.1 names to WP 10.
  • Microsoft should not allow someone to "claim" rights to a name of an app in the Microsoft Store (Beta for Win 10) that already exists in the Microsoft Store (for Win 8.1).  How did this guy even get the right to the name if Readit already existed in the Win 8.1 store?
  • They are 2 different stores. It's on Readit to claim the name in the new store. It's their fault for not getting on it. Sad, but true.
  • I thought they were creating one store eventually... What then?
  • don't know they they don't call it READlT?   yes that's a lower case L in amongst all capitals.
     
  • Lmfao!!!!
  • And this is why we have Trademarks and Copyrights. Any Dev can use any name for their apps if they own the right to that name. If they don't have the legal right to use it and another Dev does, steps can be taken...
  • "We have been a huge fan?" I'm used to a higher quality of English on the site :/
  • I think that Microsoft should take away any rights to this type of action. If the name that is reserved isn't actually going to be an app within a certain time then it should be forfeited. This is the same crap as people buying up domains just to ask big dollars if you want it.
  • it says it expires in a year and that someone else reserved it after that year (or it was reserved again by the same ppl) lets remember it takes time to develop an app and if im developing an app with  what i think is a good name then i would want to reserve it. 
  • Is it really fair to call the person a troll? Whos to say they aren't trying to be a smart investor in hopes the company will buy it off of him/her.
  • Fine, "Squatter" then.  Same stink.
     
  • I guess, but either way it's a low move.
  • No. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean you have any right to take his/her's away. Either Microsoft updates their policy or at the very least, provide a way for the two parties to communicate through a neutral avenue.
    ...
    Forcing someone to give up their right as outlined by current Microsoft policy when they have not violated any aspect of it, just because you don't like it, is primitive and setting up the potential for future abuse.
    ...
    Terrible.
  • What rights?! Name reservation goes this way. You publish an app under any name. I can call it on my WP 8.0 how i want it. Without to reserve a name. Readit did the same. With the new universal apps an one store future vision back in 2013. Microsoft made reserving of app names. And its not made automatically because reserving means also that you want to use this name on the Windows Store. Readit has not taken the step to register it because somebody else did. And this somebody else can be anybody because he has the rights to. There is no policy to hinder you to use an registered app name. But you cant use an reserved one. Microsoft leaved this open because with the Windows Store developers should be able to maybe change the app name without to reserve another one. I did reserve back in the first days the name for my apps so i could use it later (now) on the Windows Store. Nobody has done here against the law if you think of this maybe is a crime. But if the Readit team has an trademark to this name they can easily get it removed. Here has Microsoft no fault at all. Developers should think ahead.
  • Remember MyTube? Maybe readit can rename their app to Readit! just like chris did.
  • People these days are quick to force the removal of another person right. Shameful.
  • You mean"squatter"
  • This news story is bullcrap. You are making some huge assumption that this person is fully aware of the existence of the ReadIt app and therefore must be trolling. Think for one second if you guys are wrong. What if this was a case of two beginner developers working on projects that have to do with something other than reddit? Its not like the term "Read" has two meanings or anything. I am very glad that Microsoft doesn't make the name reservation public. The idea of a bunch of people who have no idea of the full situation attacking someone over social media who may have no idea that they are causing problems is disgusting. It would be one thing if the owner had tried to sell the naming rights to the creators of ReadIt, but that's not the case. This is very irresonsible "reporting". You know what would have been better? "Hey, we love the guys who created Readit and we would love if you could help them out. The name is reserved and they would love to be able to contact the owners. Can you guys spread the word so maybe we can get that info to the ReadIt guys?" But that wouldn't get as many clicks right?
  • So... Are you going to give the name back to them?
  • Never!
  • Come on men.. Just show me where the troll is and I'll do the "job".
  • Reserving an app name without an app? What is that?
  • Then don't release it.
  • Not much can be done, sadly
  • Is this name trademarked or something? they could easily alert all their wp users of the name change via their existing app pointing to the new version. Idk maybe I missed the severity of this particular issue...
  • The Original Dev should not be forced to change the name of the app. Microsot needs to enforce a Prior Art clause on app names in the store. I really think this needs to be applied across app stores including google, apple, and even desktop titles. Developers have a hard enough time as it is across app stores but dealing with this between 8.1 and 10 is over the top. I dont think that MS should outright block similar app names but if a developer wants to challenge an app name and can prove that they have previously released retail software under that name they should be allowed to claim it. If someone makes a app that integrates with quicken online and calls the app Quicken then intuit should have the ability to challenge the application name and force the developer to rename the app without getting lawyers involved. I dont think this kind of thing needs to involve trademarks because that's going to hinder the smaller developers and honestly that what we have in the windows app store.
  • Sounds like if nothing gets done they'll change the name to FuckIt. 
  • According to their Reddit thread this issue has been resolved.  Someone from Microsoft saw their post and contacted the policies department and got the name issue resolved so the Readit Windows 10 app is back on! 
  • Google?
  • the issue has been resolved http://www.reddit.com/r/readit/comments/38elss/we_are_back_on_track_windows_10_release_is_still/
  • Awesome, another Article is due I reckon so people can put down the pitch forks and torches lol.
  • Finally
  • Nice to see it is resolved. It's strange though, because I have an app published to google play but no windows varient. Someone used my same name for a windows phone version and I contacted microsoft and they took it down.
  • I'm sure if the developers of Readit, write a formal letter of complaint indicating the evidence that the name is being squatted upon as no app has been released by said "squatter", Microsoft are obligated to investigate and do something about it if the "allegation" is true. Edit: Thanks to Jagar Tharn for the link, it looks like the issue has been resolved. So people can put down the torces and pitch forks.
  • I hope someone at Microsoft steps up to fix this. I use Readit a lot
  • Thankfully, the problem is solved. I really like Readit.
  • Squatters = patent trolls when they try to do stuff like this. Though others can call it an investment (look at the guy who owned pizza.com).
  • Hopefully they can solve this problem for smaller developers too.
  • Yeah, this is a potential problem for every developer.
  • Glad this issue is fixed, can't wait for the release
  • Didn't the same thing happen with mytube?
  • Yep, and after that big update some time ago they added an exclamation mark and changed their name to 'myTube!'.. So, i guess that's why they changed the name to get out of the issue..
  • Glad to hear that update
  • I am happy that they managed to get it fixed! I tweeted to Microsoft to do something about it so probably that's why they fixed it :))
  • Woo! Now that is what I like to see! An update showing that Readit is back on track!
  • it looks like it was fixed... just like I expected. but It's good Microsoft fixed it fast.
  • Thank god! I love this app!
  • That was fast.
  • reddit is the toilet of the universe. it's 4chan trash level of garbage. i wish i could delete it off the internet. 
  • Depends on where you're looking. As a student, I find a lot of important info there
  • @johncallum - once gain - why are you using derogatry names, first you said Troll, now you call them (whoever they are) a squater?!  You have no idea whatsoever who the person/company is and if its legitimate or not.  I own a company and if I had a name and was called troll or squater id be offended. 
  • How? By force or by policy revisions. If by force then Microsoft just lost some respect.
  • So what if by force? They have the right to do what's best for themselves and their customers, and one guy who might have tried to make quick cash should not be a priority.
  • Besides... Most social forums are just the 21st century equivalent to the 20th century trash talk shows(Jerry Springer). Where everybody airs their hyped up drama while others quickly jump the bandwagon to cosign. Implying relevance where there is none.
  • Whew! It got fixed. Good job MS.
  • Yeah a little public shaming goes a long way some times
  • sucks
    this stuff is okay, if they don't realse an app for the system. but if the original brand owner does and want to, they should be able to do so
    or at lest can negotiate with the person who own the name
  • Comment after update: There is still hope!
  • Yea fixed!
  • Reserved names expire after a year. So if the person who reserved this name doesnt upload an app within the year he reserved it, it will become availble again for anyone to reserve. Hopefully for Readit this is before Windows 10 becomes available.
  • let's bring in that septa bitch to slap the shit out of this troll. and if he/she doesn't give up, we call ramsay to flay the peasant alive and feed the body to drogon after! sounds like a great plan... mwahaha
  • Still think baconit is a superior reader anyway
  • This is so stupid. There shouldn't be 2 stores in the first place and considering they have planned to merge them for at least a year, names in WP should be reserved by default in the PC store.
  • "In the last hour, the developer of Readit has posted that Microsoft has addressed the problem. Readit for Windows 10 is now back on track." Microsoft hacked the squatter's pictures folder on OneDrive and miraculously he changed his mind.  lol