Todd Brix, a Windows Phone executive, highlighted four points for developers to remember when trying to publish an app on the Windows Phone marketplace: avoid trademark trouble, maintain a high sense of quality, use succinct keywords and have a good sense of judgment in dealing with apps that could be deemed racy.
Avoid trademark trouble
Brix said most copyright and trademark violations are unintentional and occur due to developers’ misunderstanding of what constitutes a violation. “Our rules boil down to this,” he said. “Your registered publisher name and everything about your app—name, logo, description, screenshots—must be unique and free of trademarked content unless (1) you own the trademark, (2) you’ve secured permission from the owner to use it, or (3) you’re using a trademarked name (not a logo) to describe your app’s features or functionality without suggesting that the app is actually published by the trademark owner.”
Maintain a high sense of quality
Brix said this problem tends to occur most frequently when dealing with multiple publishings of similar, but different apps. “Creating unique, easily distinguishable app tiles helps customers see at a glance what’s different about the apps you’re publishing,” Brix said. “[The practice improves] the shopping experience and potential for downloads.”
Use succinct keywords
The Windows Phone marketplace is limiting the amount of keywords a particular app can use to five. Any app that uses more than five keywords will have all keywords deleted.
Brix also said the keywords should be relevant to the app. “We’re also starting to examine app keywords for relevancy,” Brix said. “We’ve noticed some developers have been entering keywords that are popular search terms—‘Justin Bieber’ [or] ‘YouTube’—but are totally unrelated to their app and what it does.”
Good sense of judgment
“[W]e don’t allow apps containing ‘sexually suggestive or provocative’ images or content,” Brix said. “What we do permit is the kind of content you occasionally see on prime-time TV or the pages of a magazine’s swimsuit issue…Admittedly, it’s tricky catering to such a wide range of people and markets… Recently we decided that we could improve the shopping experience for all our customers by a more stringent interpretation and enforcement of our existing content policy.”
Brix said the marketplace “will be paying more attention to the icons, titles and content of these apps and expect them to be more subtle and modest in the imagery and terms used.”