iPhone software developer sues brewery giant for stealing his iBeer idea

The developer of an iPhone application that turns the screen’s device into a virtual beer is suing a brewery giant for stealing his idea. Steve Sheraton of novelty software company Hottrix is the developer of iBeer

The developer of an iPhone application that turns the screen’s device into a virtual beer is suing a brewery giant for stealing his idea.

Steve Sheraton of novelty software company Hottrix is the developer of iBeer, which turns the screen of an iPhone into a virtual glass, which a user can tip on its side and pretend to drink.

Sheraton developed the software last year and sold it on his personal website for $US2.99, but was startled when he discovered the App Store sold another application exactly like his own.

Coors, the world’s fifth-largest brewer, was pushing a similar application labelled iPint and charged nothing for the download.

Hottrix, which owns the rights to Sheraton’s application, is suing the brewer for $US12.5 million in lost profits.

Sheraton, a professional magician, says he was hurt to discover his idea had been stolen.

“Magicians don’t really copyright stuff or patent it. The fraternity itself regards it as such a big shame to steal someone else’s trick that, if somebody does it, they’re basically put out of work,” he told The Age.

“If you were to try iBeer it has a lot of cool features. Like you can shake it up, and it will foam up. So it’s a ton more realistic [than iPint], in my opinion.”

Both iPint and iBeer have reached the top 10 lists in both paid and free download categories on the App Store, but Coors’s iPint has now been taken down from the site.

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