Grooveshark, billed as an internationally available online music search engine, music streaming service and music recommendation web software application, has seen its iPhone app pulled from the Apple iTunes App Store just days after launch.

According to app description: "Grooveshark for iPhone gives you access to your playlists, Favourites, search and play any song as well as nifty extras like Offline Caching (for Airplane Mode)."

On Monday, the Grooveshark app was removed at the request of the UK arm of music giant Universal Music Group.

Writing on the Grooveshark blog, the company noted: "Earlier this afternoon, Apple sent us a letter notifying us that, due to a complaint they received from Universal Music Group UK, Grooveshark for iPhone has been, strangely, pulled from the App Store."

"This comes as an absolute surprise to us, and we are not sleeping until we figure out exactly how to fix this - and get Grooveshark for iPhone back in the App Store. Above all, our biggest concern is damaging the service we provide to all of you guys - our loyal (awesome) users."

According to VentureBeat, Universal Music Group UK has links with rival Internet-radio service Spotify. While Grooveshark has actively looked for licensing agreements with record labels, its only deal so far has been struck with EMI.

VentureBeat notes Grooveshark’s service works by relying completely on users to upload and manage a catalog of songs, which is likely to put the service in dispute with copyright holders.

Apple said in a statement that it understands the importance of intellectual property. "Due to objections by rightsholders, the Grooveshark app has been removed until resolution is reached by both parties."

Versions of the Grooveshark app for other platforms, including Google’s Android OS and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry are currently still available.

Grooveshark iPhone app