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I work as a software developer and was contracted by a hospital to develop an app. I purchased the Apple Developer Program to upload the app, but Apple rejected it saying that the developer certificate name does not comply with section 5.2.1 of the PLA:

Since your app is specifically for a medical institution, it should be submitted under an account that reflects the name of the medical institution. Your app is currently submitted under an individual account that reflects your name, “AMAN ULLAH TANVEER.” To comply with section 5.2.1 of the PLA, your app should be submitted by an account that reflects "Saifee Hospital Karachi.”

To request an update to the company name or entity type associated with this Apple Developer Program account, the Team Agent will need to contact Apple Developer Support to request an update to the company name. On the Contact Us page, select "Membership and Account," then "Organization Name Change" to make this request

I then asked Apple to change my account type from individual to company. Apple reject my appeal by saying you are not the founder of XYZ company.

Thank you for contacting Apple Developer Program Support regarding migrating to an organization membership.

We are unable to proceed with the migration because you do not meet our migration requirements:

• The owner of the individual account must be the founder or cofounder of the organization.

Though only founders or cofounders are eligible for migration, your organization can enroll separately into the Apple Developer Program. After the enrollment is complete, it is possible to transfer apps to the organization membership. See the App transfer overview for details.

When asked for a refund, Apple denied by saying the developer program fees are non-refundable.

I apologize for the inconvenience you may have experienced, unfortunately we are unable to process this credit due to our no-refund purchase terms. You can view these terms within the Program License Agreement located in Membership > Show Agreements at the Apple Developer website.

When asked apple if I change the name of my application to something generic removing the words "Hospital" from it

Thank you for contacting the App Review Board. However, changing the name of your application does not resolve the 5.2.1 issue. Since your app is specifically for a medical institution, it should be submitted under an account that reflects the name of the medical institution.

Please refer to our previous correspondence for details on how to resolve the issues we identified during our review. It would be appropriate to revise your app to ensure it is compliant with our guidelines prior to resubmitting it for review.

Can someone explain who needs to apply for the developer program?

Is my money totally lost?

  • Wow - great edits to turn this around. Thanks for asking here – bmike Sep 18 at 18:18
  • @amanullahtanweer Could you provide some details on the app, you're trying to get approved? Is it an app to be used by staff at a specific hospital? or what is it? - And who's your client? - is it the hospital? - or someone unrelated? – jksoegaard Sep 18 at 19:21
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    The application is for the public, having doctors schedule and some news/updates from the Wordpress API. – Amanullah Tanweer Sep 18 at 19:59
  • @AmanullahTanweer Please explain in more detail - who are you making this app for? - Is it something you have decided to make yourself and doing alone? - or is someone paying you to create this app? ... Do you have an agreement with the people who own that Wordpress API? – jksoegaard Sep 18 at 22:15
  • Yes i have all the agreements. I actually own the domain name as well. I have tried servel times trying to explain this to apple but looks like some standrard automated reply i get always – Amanullah Tanweer Sep 19 at 7:13
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Based on the feedback you got, Apple is stating you've violated section 5.2.1 which deals with intellectual property rights.

The applicable part of this section is:

Apps should be submitted by the person or legal entity that owns or has licensed the intellectual property and other relevant rights and is responsible for offering any services provided by the app.

"Saifee Hospital, Karachi" is the legal owner of their trademark and images. I'm guessing that you've included the trademarked image of this hospital in your app.

Because you're not the owner of that trademark, Apple is stating that you're improperly using something that's trademarked and you're not the trademark holder (because the developer name is not the registered owner of the trademark).

To get past this, you need to either get permission from the trademark owner or remove those trademarked items from your app.

You will probably not get a refund because of an error on your part. This is fair to both Apple and the owner of the trademark. You have options available to you to move past this problem.

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    I tried that as well asked apple that I can provide an authorization letter from the trademark/client, but apple refuse my appel on this case as well – Amanullah Tanweer Sep 18 at 13:44
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    It's strange that they would refuse an appeal if you provided proof of permission from the trademark owner. To clarify, do you already have that permission or where you just asking Apple if you could appeal if you got this? I'm guessing they would deny an appeal if you didn't already have that permission. – fsb Sep 18 at 14:16
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    @jksoegaard I'm just referencing the section Apple communicated to the OP. That section deals with trademarks and rights. I guessed it had to do with a trademarked logo but that's just a guess. OP didn't state the app was built for the hospital, it was just mentioned "a client". That client could be anything so I didn't assume the hospital was the client. – fsb Sep 18 at 15:06
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    Hello Amanullah, Thank you for contacting the App Review Board. However, changing the name of your application does not resolve the 5.2.1 issue. Since your app is specifically for a medical institution, it should be submitted under an account that reflects the name of the medical institution. Please refer to our previous correspondence for details on how to resolve the issues we identified during our review. It would be appropriate to revise your app to ensure it is compliant with our guidelines prior to resubmitting it for review. Best regards, Taylor App Review Board – Amanullah Tanweer Sep 18 at 18:44
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    The problem is not with the name of the app, it's with the name of the developer you're using to submit the app. You were advised of that at the beginning of the process. It also appears Apple is telling you how to resolve the problem but, so far, you're not following that process. – fsb Sep 18 at 18:58
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I think you have some things mixed up:

The developer agreement is between Apple and the seller of the app (free apps are also regarded as being sold on the App Store). It is not between Apple and whomever actually makes the app.

If you're an individual making and selling an app, you need an "Individual" account with Apple. The name of the seller on the App Store is then your given name. The name of the app itself can be anything - it doesn't have to be your name.

If you're working for a corporation developing an app to go on the App Store, the corporation needs a "Company" account with Apple. This agreement can be made by anyone authorized to sign the documents for the company - for smaller companies this is usually the director. This also applies if you're both the developer, owner and director of the company.

If you're developing an app for a client and they're going to release it on the App Store - then that client needs to enter the agreement with Apple. Either as an Individual or as a Company depending on who your client is. You yourself needs no agreement with Apple at all.

In your specific case, the app is not going to be sold by you - rather it is going to be sold by your client - the hospital. Therefore the hospital needs to apply and enter into the Apple Developer Program. When they have done that, they can create a user account for you with developer access, so that you can upload the app for approval by Apple.

The specific part of section 5.2.1 that you're in violation of is:

Apps should be submitted by the person or legal entity that owns or has licensed the intellectual property and other relevant rights and is responsible for offering any services provided by the app.

Therefore it does not matter that you state that you have agreements with the hospital that you are allowed to use their name, trademark, logo, etc. The app needs to be submitted by the entity providing the service - not by the person that happened to be doing the actual coding.

You can make a second plea to Apple stating that you didn't know that you weren't supposed to enter an agreement at all - but if they already explained to you that it is non-refundable, there's really nothing you can do. It is explained up front by Apple who needs to enter in an agreement and pay the fees, so it was your responsibility to figure that out before ordering and paying.

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