The Register reports that Apple will reinstate the AAC app “Speak For Yourself” if the speech therapists who made the app are able to win the patent lawsuit brought against them. Apple pulled the app several weeks ago as part of the ongoing dispute between two larger AAC device companies and the small start-up that created the app.
Apple removed the app as a matter of policy, says The Register, as it always removes apps that are subjects of litigation to protect users from any potential legal consequences of using a possibly illegal application. There was no significance of the timing; it simply took three months to process the decision to remove the application. (The three month delay does seem to fit in with the reports we’ve heard of it taking forever to get any change approved through the store.)
The Register also notes that Apple has said it wants to help children with autism or speech impediments communicate, and one of the ten features introduced in iOS 6 is aimed at that very purpose.
The app’s removal means that users who own it already will still be able to use it, but the company will not be able to submit bug fixes or keep it current with future versions of the iOS operating system. Dana Nieder, whose 6-year-old nonverbal child Maya uses the application, has launched a petition asking that it be reinstated.
It’s not really a great surprise that Apple will reinstate the app if its developers win their court case; I’d thought that was a foregone conclusion. The important question is whether the developers can win. For all the romance of David vs. Goliath stories, in these days the ones with deeper pocketbooks tend to win.
(Found via CNet.)