iPhone Fart Apps Bring Out the Lawyer-Mans

With enough chutzpah to make a patent troll wolf-whistle, a Florida company has claimed the phrase "pull my finger" - used by a competing iPhone fart app, of course - infringes on its intellectual property.

The two sides, Air-O-Matic, maker of "Pull My Finger," and InfoMedia, developer of iFart are in negotiations to settle the dispute. Pull My Finger was once upon a time the No. 2 selling application on the iTunes store. But then it was overtaken by iFart, which has done more than $200,000 in sales since its release. Perhaps not coincidentally, that resulted in Air-O-Matic demanding $50,000 from InfoMedia as compensation for lost sales and other, uh, shit.

iFart is about the most juvenile goddamn thing I've paid money for in the past year, which is to say I love it. You can order up a fart from a menu of disgusting ones or record your own. There's also a time-delay and a motion-sensor feature, allowing you to deploy the phone as a virtual whoopee cushion. I have no idea what Pull My Finger did or did not do, other than, of course, fart.

Naturally, someone with a juris doctor was paid a lot of money to write a C&D letter, with all of the gravity and dignity a $200/hour attorney can muster, about farting and pulling fingers. InfoMedia returned fire, asking for a declaratory judgment because "The phrase 'pull my finger' is understood to be a description of the act of passing gas, not a trademark violation."

"Believe it or not, I'm really uncomfortable with bathroom humor," Air-O-Matic co-owner Sam Magdalein told the Denver Post. "My partner is more into that kind of humor, and he pushed me a little bit into doing this as a joke. It would be pretty ridiculous to have this end up in court."

Yes it would. Wonder who took it there, Sam?

News of the legal action sent a throng of high-school sophomores to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to stake claims to other fart games, including "Two" (and its variant, "Sapes"), "Safety/Slug (The Cereal Game)" "You Ate It" and "Grenade." Bic, makers of disposable butane lighters, also filed for a patent protecting its discovery that farting on an open flame creates a giant orange fireball that is totally hilarious and impresses all your friends.

'Pull My Finger' Lets Loose Dispute [Denver Post]