Amazon seeks to throw out Apple’s ‘App Store’ false advertising claim

“Amazon.com Inc has asked a federal judge to throw out Apple Inc’s false advertising claim in a lawsuit challenging the online retailer’s use of the ‘app store’ name,” Jonathan Stempel reports for Reuters.

“Apple added the trademark claim last November, soon after Amazon announced the launch of the Kindle Fire tablet and, according to the complaint, began to call its app store “Amazon Appstore” rather than ‘Amazon Appstore for Android,'” Stempel reports. “It said this change could have contributed to confusion among consumers.”

Stempel reports, “But in a filing on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, Amazon said the term ‘app store’ has become so generic that its use could not constitute false advertising. Amazon added that even Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and his predecessor Steve Jobs have used the term to discuss rivals, with Cook having commented on ‘the number of app stores out there’ and Jobs referring to the ‘four app stores on Android.’ … ‘Apple presumably does not contend that its past and current CEOs made false statements regarding to those other app stores to thousands of investors in earnings calls,’ Amazon said.”

Read more in the full article here.

25 Comments

    1. Yeah trademarking something like appstore wow how silly
      Thats like having a trademark for kleenex or xerox or coke.

      Use you brain chris, (or at least, try to) appstore was never in common use before apple coined (and trademarked) it. If you want to point up trademarks that should no be permitted look at “windows” or “office” not appstore.

      1. Actually, both Kleenex and Xerox became appellatives and were essentially lost as trademarks. Both Kimberly-Clark and Xerox had to be extremely aggressive and run expensive campaigns to reinstate their brands. The danger to a company is that they can lose both the trademark and customer goodwill. It’s a really tough call whether it’s worth trying to protect “AppStore” or not — the term may have already passed into common usage.

        1. No, you are misinformed.
          Xerox nor Kleenex have ever been “lost”
          Trademarks that fall into common use are (regularly) challenged in court (mostly by their competitors)
          It is up to the judicial system to protect decide what trademarks are valid (like app store or kleenex) and what trademarks really had no business being trademarked in the first place (like “office” for office software, or “windows” for a windowing operating system. Sadly it appears our judiciary has fallen prey to influence)

            1. Perhaps you both missed the word “essentially.” It took a great deal of effort and fight and legal expense to ‘recapture’ the trademarks, but it was a close call; the trademarks were very nearly really lost.

              Arrr! “you can google that” — No way! I might “Bing” it in a pinch, but more likely I would “DuckDuckGo” it. But “Google” it – never! 😆

        2. I would guess the other issue with ‘App Store’ is it’s almost purely descriptive. The way you’d never be able to enforce a trademark on ‘Food Store’ or ‘Sweet Strawberries’.

          On the other hand ‘windows’ was already in common use in computer graphical user interfaces — before it was trademarked. Granting that registration was totally inexcusable. It would seem to be a textbook case of a purely descriptive term.

          The strange thing is that with the internet now, and the speed with which we’re all interacting, it would be easy for determined competitors to force almost any new trademark into common usage before the trademark has had much time to build some equity with the public.

          1. Really… Really?
            Is a frontal lobotomy a prerequisite to joining the apple haters club?

            “food store” was in common use App store was not.
            “sweet” is just a modifier (adjective) food and app are not.
            Are you really that obtuse or do you just dumb your intellect down in a sad attempt to self- justify your erroneous conclusions?

            As a matter of fact, I can’t remember (previous to apple’s use) software being referred to as “apps”

            Apple could have attempted to trademark “applications” but that would be a ridiculous as trademarking office or windows 😉

    2. Chris do you not agree that Apple popularized the term App Store to be equated with mobile applications on the iPhone? I sure believe they did and because it was their effort and marketing dollars that made the term App store synonymous with mobile applications. They deserve the privilege of having exclusive rights to the term.

  1. We are just seeing Beozo’s ego here. Everyone else in that industry has conceded that trademark to Apple and has called their dingy something else.

    So good luck with that Amazomby.

  2. As far as I know the name ‘App Store’ as a standalone name is applicable to OS X and iOS products only. Apple was the first to use the name App Store within the context of the iTunes App Store before dropping the iTunes in front of it when the App Store concept was expanded to the Mac.

    Amazon can call theirs the Amazon Premier Store for Android Losers or something like that.

  3. Isn’t App short for ‘Application’.. And hasn’t Apple always called them applications. Microsoft called their’s ‘Programs’ and Linux called their’s ‘Packages’. In all fairness Apple has been on this trend since inception, so it only makes sense that they have the term ‘App Store’ sense they have used the term constantly… All these other companies are changing their attitude to meet customer adaptation.

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