Apple legal issues [Resolved]

Due to some ongoing trademark issues we are facing about our usage of branding “for Philips Hue” and “controlling Philips Hue hardware” on the iOS platform, development of our app is limited at the moment. We alerted Signify about this.

:de:Find details for our German users at www.smartlights.de. This site has been in contact with us and will keep you updated.

What this means for you:
There are a couple of issues known to us with the current build. iOS 13.4 has issues on the upgrade screen, starting and stopping of effects, iPadOS 13.4 is affected completely. We have fixes ready but Apple won’t release our updates anymore. Please see our Instagram posts @hueessentials to keep you updated. We are very sorry we cannot offer you our updates at the moment. We love Philips Hue and hope this situation is resolved quickly.

For now:
As it seems, TestFlight is unaffected. Our latest pushes of TestFlight updates have all been approved. You can download the TestFlight release through our website www.hueessentials.com. TestFlight is like a beta we are using to test our code changes and updates. New features are tested there.

How does Signify look at this?
Signify has been very helpful in this matter. They have been in touch with us at regular intervals. Signify (Philips Hue) has developer terms of use and conditions which state clearly what a third party developer (e.g. Hue Essentials) may or may not do. Apple rejected our appeal based on these terms. Apple said our app is targeting Philips Hue very explicitly and we should remove support for this product. Well, we will not remove support as we love Philips Hue - unless Signify tells us to. Signify provided us with a letter stating that Hue Essentials is in-line with their terms and we may use wording like “hue”.

Apple’s rejections:
You would think this statement is very helpful but still Apple rejected our appeals. We are awaiting a call from Apple as we seek more clarification. Depending results on the outcome of this call, we will contact Signify again. We will then also review our legal steps. As we are only a small developer and Apple is big, we will need to consider such steps very carefully. The best solution is that Signify’s position about our standing is explained and accepted by Apple.

Other brands:
As we target more brands in Hue Essentials, we will also need to prepare for this. We support Phoscon / deCONZ platform in our app. Also diyHue is supported. Both platforms have been very supportive to us.

Our Android version of Hue Essentials also supports IKEA Trådfri; they do not have an open API and we found out how to control their hardware ourselves; we do not know their position about our development. Our goal is to include support for this in iOS as well. I trust you understood we will not add this until our current challenges and backlogs are cleared.

We also have plans (started coding already) on Lifx. This brand has been supporting third party development in the past and we do not foresee issues getting a statement.

What you can do:
Support us in our posts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Any advise is appreciated.

Quite some users complained about loss of functionality and rated our app bad unfortunately. Positive ratings on the App Store are also helpful!

UPDATE: Apple allowed our updates again following the statement from Signify about Hue Essentials and our call with Apple.