Judge rejects Apple's trademark complaint over Amazon's Appstore

By on January 2, 2013, 6:30 PM

A California federal judge has dismissed part of an Apple complaint that accused Amazon of violating a trademark on the name "App Store." The iPhone-maker filed suit in March 2011 following the launch of Amazon's "Appstore," alleging that the similar name would confuse consumers, misleading them to believe that Amazon's Android-based store was somehow related to or had the qualities of Apple's iOS-based marketplace.

Apple applied for a trademark on the "App Store" name in 2008 after shipping its second smartphone and the request was approved in 2011. However, the term "app" has since become a standard word for mobile applications and it's even used to describe small desktop programs sometimes, while "store" is about as common as words get. With that being the case, Amazon quickly called shenanigans on Apple's trademark.

To prove its point, Amazon noted a call in which the late Steve Jobs repeatedly referred to apps and app stores in a generic way:

So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple's integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone. -- Steve Jobs in fall 2010

US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton sided with Amazon on the matter, saying that she couldn't find any support for the claim that Amazon has expressly implied that its Appstore for Android has anything to do with Apple's App Store. Hamilton only ruled on Amazon's request to scrap Apple's assertion that the e-tailer's "Appstore" is false advertising. A trial is scheduled for August 19 to cover the rest of the suit, which you can read below.




User Comments: 7

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PinothyJ said:

And that is what happens when your brand names enter the common vernacular...

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Aw...., there's no joy in Muddville , (oops, I mean Cupertino), tonight.

Not to mention there are likely lawyers heads rolling all over the boardroom floor....:eek:

2 people like this | hellokitty[hk] hellokitty[hk], I'm a TechSpot Evangelist, said:

Maybe large companies should have to pay a precentage of their profit to file lawsuits rather than flat fees.

veLa veLa said:

Man I dislike Apple for their little games.

BlueDrake said:

Man I dislike Apple for their little games.

Apple is all about these little games. Especially when they lack originality. Their icon and leader is gone, what can they do to lead the company now? It's obvious they can go with the iPhone / iPad, etc for a while. Just it's so old hat after so long, I'm sure everyone's going to be sick of it.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Apple is all about these little games. Especially when they lack originality. Their icon and leader is gone, what can they do to lead the company now? It's obvious they can go with the iPhone / iPad, etc for a while. Just it's so old hat after so long, I'm sure everyone's going to be sick of it.
"Wham-O" had a bit of a lull after "inventing" the "Hula Hoop". Poor company, never did quite reach its former glory after that. (Sorry for the possibly fractured ancient history rant).

Pan Wah said:

"Wham-O" had a bit of a lull after "inventing" the "Hula Hoop". Poor company, never did quite reach its former glory after that. (Sorry for the possibly fractured ancient history rant).

I remember! - they went on to have great success with the "Frisbee", after a lawsuit forced them to withdraw the "Friswasp".

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