Apple rejects Amazon’s claims ‘App Store’ is generic

“Apple in a court filing late Thursday rebuffed Amazon’s response that the term ‘app store’ was generic,” Electronista reports.

“It insisted that the term isn’t commonly used by other companies for their portals and couldn’t be considered generic,” Electronista reports. “Amazon was allegedly treading on Apple’s mark by using the Appstore name as a result.”

Electronista reports, “Along with support from others, Microsoft has been regularly challenging the trademark and has often given answers to many of Apple’s claims… Court submissions have noted that many now use the term generically and has even caught Apple CEO Steve Jobs referring to ‘app stores’ in the generic sense.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If not for Apple, Microsoft and Amazon would today still be waiting to think up their own “Program Stores.”


  1. Not Amazon MDN, maybe Microsoft.

    If it weren’t for the iPod/iPad and the iBookstore waking Amazon up to the fact that the Kindle might be eclipsed as a single usage device Amazon would not have an appstore to speak of.

    They also would not be moving towards making an Android tablet.

    1. Exactly!

      For a term to be “generic” it must be used universally.

      The term “app” is NOT used universally for executables. It has been, and still is ONLY used by Apple to describe executables and as a file extension for executables.

      Apple Mac OS X: executable term used is “application” or “app”, file extension is “.app”

      Apple iOS: executable term used is “App”, file extension is “.app” (within an “.ipa” wrapper)

      Microsoft Windows OS: executable term used is “executable” or “program”, file extension is “.exe”

      Microsoft Windows Phone 7*: executable term used is “executable” or “program”, file extension is “.xap”
      *(WP7 was released less than a year ago, and more than 3 years after Apple started the App Store)

      Linux: executable term used is “Binary File”, file extension is “.bin”

      Android: executable term used is “Android Package”, file extension is “.apk”

      NO ONE other than Apple uses “App”! And Apple uses “App” for both naming and as an extension on both of its operating systems, Mac OS X & iOS.

      Amazon, Microsoft, and others are just trying to ride on Apple’s success with its “App Store” by claiming that “app” is generic, when it is clearly used by Apple alone.

  2. Well of course “App Store” came in popular use AFTER Apple’s store was a runaway hit. Everybody and their brother was/is trying to catch a ride on those coattails. The relevant question is “who was saying ‘app store’ before Apple’s example?”
    As far as I can recall, the answer is “nobody”.

    1. That’s like ordering a “Coke” when you mean cola. Coke is wildly popular, and is a trademarked name. But is used almost interchangeably for cola. Pepsi is nearly as popular, but is not used generically. App Store is not generic, like Coke is not generic, but falls into common usage. It still doesn’t prevent it from being trademarked by Apple, as Coke is, nor from Apple attempting to legally block its usage in certain situations.

      1. Years ago Jack in the Box was sued because people would drive up, ask for a Coke, and Jack would server them a brand-x cola, without mentioning that it was not Coca-Cola, who, of course, owns the trade mark to “Coke”. After that, when you’d drive and ask for a Coke, the employees would have to say, “We don’t have Coke. Is a Jack-Cola alright?”

  3. Ms said last year when this all started that they have always used “applications” for software.

    I posted the windows manuals that said “programs” All the way up to winxp.
    Apple has always used application, and even in manuals “app”

    Ms has no case, amazon will also lose the case. They are just mad apple sold more iPads in 3 months than amazon has sold kindles in 3 years…

    1. As far as I know, Windows has always referred to apps as programs. They still do as a matter of fact, the only deviation being WP7 which calls them apps. And you’re right, before Apple popularized this term everyone was on programs or applets or some other nomenclature.

      1. My vista manual says applications.
        My xp version said programs.

        You can find them all in PDF form online, granted ms has probably gone back and edited them all lol.

    2. Out of my league on this topic.

      What difference does it make, if the whole world is now using the term, “app?” Does Apple have the copyright on ‘app store’ or not? Shouldn’t that be the material point?

    1. What about them?

      Those aren’t being challenged by anyone that I know of.

      Basically they have nothing to do with the app store trademark issue.

    2. For crying out loud APPLE is a pretty generic term as well, isn’t it? As is Macintosh. But certain terms are used in certain industries exclusively for a specific company. C’mon!

  4. “App” was never a real word until Apple made it popular.

    It is an Apple term used to describe small applications on their equipment.

    Did you ever wonder why Microsoft chose “Gadgets” instead of “Widgets”?

    When a company coins a new word for their product it’s even more likely that they will/should own that name. “App” is not a generic term, or a real word that was in use before Apple made it happen.

    End of Story.

    Let Amazon and MSFT come up with their own names.

  5. “The App Store” is already being used to mean the Apple app store. I was at the movies last week (Bridesmaids: hilarious) and they were touting their own app. “Get it at the App Store or Android Marketplace”. Logos shown were Apple’s iPhone and Android.

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