With one developer (Keith Shepherd, the creator of Temple Run) going so far as to accuse Apple of tainting the integrity of the App Store by allowing blatant copycat apps to be listed and thrive, many of the copycats apps have now been eliminated.
The primary offender is a developer named Anton Sinelnikov who is responsible for ripoffs like Temple Jump, Tiny Birds and Numbers With Friends. While many of his apps are things of the past as far as Apple is concerned, a lot of people are wondering how scam artists like this can be stopped before users fork over considerable sums of money (even when it is $0.99 at a time).
The real crime is that while giants like Zynga may have the resources to fight these fakes (though don’t forget they were also recently accused by Nimblebit of copying their successful Tiny Tower app, so they might be part of the problem), independent studios do not share the same luxury and must sit back and watch while their creations are mimicked and they lose money.
Fortunately, Apple is doing somethng to look out for developers. Much like in 2009 when Apple went after developers who were trying to cheat the review system and to date there are still consequences for anybody found to be doing so.
Some people are calling for Apple to have strict policies against these carbon copy apps, but it is difficult for apps to be policed without the help of users and developers –it would be impossible for App Store reviewers to know whether an app is in violation when you consider the large number of submissions they must look at. One suggestion is that Apple could provide a way to report an app as a fake in much the same way you can alert for those that are offensive.