HTC Hits LevelUpStudio With C&D Over ‘Beautiful Widgets’

bw_02HTC has sent the dreaded cease and desist order to LevelUpStudio over their Beautiful Widgets application for Android handsets.  According to a few tweets from the company, the problem likely comes from the widgets resembling HTC’s own Sense UI widgets.

Bad news: I got a C&D from HTC, I will have to discontinue Beautiful Widgets and remove it from the market” – via twitter

If you hadn’t seen Beautiful Widgets, they truly are that.  Looking every bit as good as HTC’s, LevelUpStudios’ also included animation not found in the originals.


What’s your take?

Was HTC heavy handed or do you think they had good reason to step in?

Thanks to Michael Angelo Rodriguez for the tip!

  • dethduck

    Damn Lawyers!

  • Nate

    So, if you've purchased the app, what happens? Will it still work, just won't be updated anymore?

    • Probably it will continue to work but no longer be available to download and no longer be updated.

      It is possible for Google to remotely remove apps installed on phones (e.g. if a malicious app is discovered). I don't think that's likely here but you may want to back it up to be on the safe side.

  • Rizo

    How moronic. That actually leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Do they actually thunk they invented a flip clock with a weather icon on it? What about all the phones that have been hacked with the SenseUI cooked rom? Are they going to go after all the rom builders too?

    • They'd be within their rights to do so, just as Google did with Cyanogen. While Android's open-source nature is one of the reasons I love it, companies and individuals still have the right to defend their intellectual property. If these widgets are copies of others that were designed by someone else, the original designer has the right to protest his or her work.

      From another angle, wouldn't it be better if more people concentrated on coming up with original ideas, rather than copying the ideas of others?

      • Rizo

        I understand that this is all because of someone else making money on someone else idea, which is wrong. But why don't they go after the devs at XDA? I'll tell you why, because it promotes their product. HTC should concentrate on other things besides a weather widget that runs on an open source OS. My opinion.

        • SenseUI is what differentiates HTCs devices from others, so I understand this action.

          But you are right that it is strange that they don't at least do something against those promoting SenseUI on non-HTC devices. Maybe it is just a matter of critical mass. Everybody can safely buy these widgets on the market and use them, but the custom-rom flashing community is miniscule compared to the whole market.

        • jonathan

          Because the devs aren't charging people. This developer is profiting off of HTC's work. It's completely different, and for you to say "do they think they invented the flip clock with weather on it" is stupid. Do you have eyes? It's a BLATANT copy sold for $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, not even free.

          There's nothing wrong with what HTC is doing here.

  • dethduck, are you serious?
    it is not the lawyers fault. If LevelUpStudios would have made their owm artwork instead of just copying HTCs, there would be no problem.
    But they just copied the original almost 1:1, and THAT is the problem.
    If the widgets wouldn't look like HTCs, they would have no reason to approach LevelUp.

  • There is nothing that can be done. And, the developer originally created the widget. The developer has the Photoshop/PSP layers to prove it.

    Anyway, I suggest backing up the app via Astro or App Manager.

    (P.S. Dear friends at AndroidGuys, could you get back to that app I filled out to write for you know :(? )

    • It is fine that he created the graphics files himself, but he still copied copyrighted material, and this is not ok, simple as that.
      He is good enough to copy what HTC did, so he would be good enough to invent his own graphic style I guess…

  • It's a bummer. If anything they should hire LevelUpStudio to do more and add them to HTC's website.

  • What happens to those who have purchased the app?

  • Rudy

    Beatiful Widgets was in my opinion one of the best widgets out there, it's really sad to see it pulled. I have a Droid Eris and there are many differences between the two widgets, Beatiful Widgets looks better than the HTC version, IMO. If HTC is so concerned why didn't they create a version for the other Android based phones and sell it, I understand it's what makes their phones stand out, include it free with their phones and sell it to others that do not have an HTC phone. LevelUp studios just beat them to the punch, they recognized the demand and created a version of their own. I totally support them and hope they can fight this somehow….

    • HTC is a hardware company. Why should they start selling widgets?
      Their software is their differentiator for their hardware offerings, and hardware is where HTC earns its money.

      again: he just copied what HTC did, thats a copyright infringement. period. I am sure he can continue to sell widgets, if they don't look like HTCs.

      • I think you're under the impression that it's the skill he had to create that widget that got it to sell. No. It's not. It's that it resembles strikingly like the widgets in the Eris/Hero.

        It's not as easy as 'he can create good widgets, so I'm sure that people will buy'. The initial thing that captured audience was this one app.

        Until Touiteur comes out everything is secondary to that.

      • Rudy

        Maybe because it would be another avenue of income? I mean, why would a hardware company sell software, that would be a horrible idea. I guess it didn't work out well for IBM and HP….

        • Anyone with a brain can tell you HTC did a good job with the software. It's not our place to say what they can or cannot do. They did a good job with Sense, and they did a good job with the Weather Widget.

          What boggles me is the incessant thought that they have a right to take away a mere copy of something they created. It's a copy. Like the difference between Coach and Catch. Name Brand and Generic.

          It's silly.

  • Ziltoid

    I just bought the app about 1-2 weeks ago, lol!

  • jonathan

    Anyone saying “Does htc think they invented a flip clock or weather lol” is really really delusional. It’s a blatant copy. Being sold for profit. For Android. They have a right to protect their work.

  • anakin78z

    Heh, I just bought this yesterday. Figures! 🙂
    Anyhoo, get's me thinking… let's hold a contest for prettiest beautiful widget design (that doesn't look like htc's)!

  • bryan

    What a lot of people are missing is the fact that until recently if you were using android you were using htc hardware. I think htc has an issue now because other manufacturers are getting their hardware out. I use this (on a htc mytouch 3g) and would have bought it from htc if they made it a available.
    Just because HTC can legaly do this does not mean that it is a good / smart thing to do. It is going to make their hardware less desirable.
    This is not the only sense style clock / weather widget available.
    I ran a similar looking program on windows mobile for years before android and certainly sense ui existed.

  • momo


  • Brian Douglas Hayes

    I don't have a Hero, so I've never really seen the Sense UI. I do have a HTC Dream, and I've been using Beautiful Widgets for a few months. The flip clock and weather forecast were indeed beautiful to look at, so I felt the ~$1.50 was well worth it.

    I'm utterly disappointed now, however, realizing that Beautiful Widgets is just a bloody clone of someone else's (HTC's) work. Everything is almost identical, pixel-for-pixel. As a graphic artist myself, it's frustrating to see that kind of blatant disregard. You can copy the idea of a flip-style clock combined with a weather forecast, but at least give it some unique visual identity.

  • ari-free

    the Sense UI thing will fade as Android default gets nicer on the one hand and Sense users get frustrated by not getting the latest updates on time. It's also harder for app developers to deal with all the differences.

  • Stephen

    Honestly, the guy couldn't even make his own weather images? And those toggle widgets are the same except for the little status dot in the corner. I can't believe he would so blatantly copy from HTC on this. Not only do I agree with them for issuing the C&D, I think this guy deserves to be shut down for ripping off their work.

  • yes it will still work

  • Vladimir Kelman

    Guys, are those "Beautiful Widgets" still available somewhere… o torrent maybe?

  • HTC's smart phone is so good and most prefers by the people.They are also providing theme for looking phone different then others.You have to install HTC widgets for that and i sure that you like all the keywords.

  • I'm probably a little bit biased, being an HTC Hero user, but going by the screenshots vs. what I have on the phone now- I think the HTC Sense version just looks that slightly bit nicer.

    Of course, it could be that the screenshot shows some 30 degrees in Toulouse whilst we're freezing here at 0 degrees in London.

  • nice widgets.. cool..

  • rich

    am quite glad this is happening for b.w. does not work right and they will not fix the glitch. It is in the weather it does not sync with the sight there using and it will not update the weather either. so its about time someone said something.

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