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Amazon Wins Right to Call App Store 'Appstore'

By - Source: Ars Technica | B 40 comments

Amazon has won the right to continue using the name 'Appstore' for the Android application store it launched earlier this year.

Back in March, Amazon launched its own version of the Android app store. Dubbed Amazon Appstore, the company's launch celebrations were cut short a week later when Apple filed a lawsuit against the company. Apple had already filed for a trademark on the term 'App Store' earlier in the year and though that application was being contested by Microsoft (Redmond says it's too generic a term to trademark), the Cupertino-based iPhone maker didn't want Amazon using the 'App Store' term. Apple said at the time that attempts to contact Apple regarding its use of the term did not result in a "substantive response." Perhaps Amazon was right not to respond to Apple, though, as this week a judge ruled in the etailer's favor.

Ars Technica reports that Apple has been denied the temporary injunction it was seeking against Amazon after U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that Apple did not have sufficient evidence to prove infringement (only two of eight legal criteria to establish infringement were supported by Apple's evidence). Hamilton also denied the injunction on the basis that Apple had shown no evidence of dilution or tarnishment of the "App Store" trademark.

Though Apple was the first to use the 'App Store' name (for its iOS application store) and is eager to ensure it is the only one allowed to use it, the phrase has become a generic term for the many app stores now available for BlackBerry, Android, WebOS, Nokia and Windows Phone 7 devices.

Read more about the lawsuit on Ars Technica.

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  • 35 Hide
    rwpritchett , July 9, 2011 4:20 PM
    Let's put a spin on Apple's thought process:

    I'm going to start up a grocery store chain and call it "Grocery Store" and trademark the name. I will then sue anybody who attempts to use the term "Grocery Store". I will argue that people are too stupid to know that other grocery stores aren't my "Grocery Store". I will also argue that my store is the only one that sells "Groceries".

    App store is too generic Apple. Sorry.
  • 33 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2011 4:48 PM
    Next thing you know, they will start suing iran and iraq for having i in its name...
  • 16 Hide
    t_wilson , July 9, 2011 5:13 PM
    @k-zon I'm having a really hard time understanding what you are trying to say.
Other Comments
  • 35 Hide
    rwpritchett , July 9, 2011 4:20 PM
    Let's put a spin on Apple's thought process:

    I'm going to start up a grocery store chain and call it "Grocery Store" and trademark the name. I will then sue anybody who attempts to use the term "Grocery Store". I will argue that people are too stupid to know that other grocery stores aren't my "Grocery Store". I will also argue that my store is the only one that sells "Groceries".

    App store is too generic Apple. Sorry.
  • 8 Hide
    nathanmiller , July 9, 2011 4:38 PM
    The copyright wars that are ramping up are going to be increasingly ridiculous. Apple does a great job of creating products, but if they spend more time trying to make money off of legal injunctions, this hardly seems like a good step.

    Same goes for any other company. "App store" worthy of a suit? Give me a break.
  • -8 Hide
    K-zon , July 9, 2011 4:45 PM
    Think its a Consumer issue to say more then anything as well.
  • 33 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2011 4:48 PM
    Next thing you know, they will start suing iran and iraq for having i in its name...
  • -3 Hide
    ericburnby , July 9, 2011 5:13 PM
    Amazon didn;t "win". All that happened is that a judge said they don;t have to stop using the name until the court case is heard. Apple wanted them to stop using the name until after the case is settled.

    What I'm wondering is this: Blackberry has App World, Google has the Market, Windows Phone has the Marketplace and Apple has App Store. So Amazon couldn't pick a unique name like all the other companies did and instead decided to use the same name as Apple?
  • 16 Hide
    t_wilson , July 9, 2011 5:13 PM
    @k-zon I'm having a really hard time understanding what you are trying to say.
  • 2 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , July 9, 2011 5:31 PM
    Amazon should counter sue apple legal fee's, and profit loss. IMO i think apple knew they wouldn't win, I think apple just did it to slow progress and get the competitive edge.
  • 10 Hide
    wintermint , July 9, 2011 5:46 PM
    Apple so scared of competition... Lawsuits against Amazon for using "App Store" and then the lawsuits against Samsung... who pretty much is a supplier for Apple
  • 7 Hide
    Neverdyne , July 9, 2011 5:47 PM
    ericburnbyAmazon didn;t "win". All that happened is that a judge said they don;t have to stop using the name until the court case is heard. Apple wanted them to stop using the name until after the case is settled.What I'm wondering is this: Blackberry has App World, Google has the Market, Windows Phone has the Marketplace and Apple has App Store. So Amazon couldn't pick a unique name like all the other companies did and instead decided to use the same name as Apple?


    They don't have to go unique if they don't want to. Its too generic of a name, no one should own it.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2011 5:54 PM
    A cursory reading of the court order will show that the court did not find the term app store to be generic, as the story above indicates.
    And just as @ericburnby accurately pointed out, Amazon didn't win anything more than the right to continue using the name until the court issues a final decision.

    What the court was ruling on was a peliminary injunction filed by Apple. It was simply a request that the court enjoin, or prevent, Amazon from using the term AppStore until the case is heard and ruled upon.

    The burden of proof is pretty high for what Apple was requesting, and because the outcome wasn't clear, the court denied the request to prevent Amazon from using the name.

    The case will continue precisely because the term AppStore is not generic, as declared by the court. Apple still has a chance at winning this lawsuit. It is a long shot, but there is case law to support their position, and judging from Apple's attitude toward there intellectual property, they won't give this one up easily.
  • 0 Hide
    jojesa , July 9, 2011 5:56 PM
    Finally, common sense prevails.
    2 thumbs up Judge Phyllis Hamilton.
  • 2 Hide
    sykozis , July 9, 2011 6:25 PM
    Apple still has to prove they have a legal claim to "App Store"....which they really can't. They hold no legal copyright or trademark on "App Store" to my knowledge....which is among the legal requirements to prove copyright or trademark infringement.
  • 2 Hide
    ojas , July 9, 2011 6:31 PM
    Quote:
    Apple said at the time that attempts to contact Apple regarding its use of the term did not result in a "substantive response."


    So Apple spends a lot of time talking to itself... :D 
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , July 9, 2011 6:34 PM
    Quote:
    Apple said at the time that attempts to contact Apple regarding its use of the term did not result in a "substantive response."


    Wait, i just realized why they never got an answer this way: Infinite Loop.
  • 5 Hide
    master9716 , July 9, 2011 6:55 PM
    rwpritchettLet's put a spin on Apple's thought process:I'm going to start up a grocery store chain and call it "Grocery Store" and trademark the name. I will then sue anybody who attempts to use the term "Grocery Store". I will argue that people are too stupid to know that other grocery stores aren't my "Grocery Store". I will also argue that my store is the only one that sells "Groceries".App store is too generic Apple. Sorry.


    LOL AWESOME
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 9, 2011 7:27 PM
    They need someone with some brains working at that patent office. These patents are just too stupid.
  • -6 Hide
    thaile4ever , July 9, 2011 7:30 PM
    rwpritchettLet's put a spin on Apple's thought process:I'm going to start up a grocery store chain and call it "Grocery Store" and trademark the name. I will then sue anybody who attempts to use the term "Grocery Store". I will argue that people are too stupid to know that other grocery stores aren't my "Grocery Store". I will also argue that my store is the only one that sells "Groceries".App store is too generic Apple. Sorry.


    Sorry but your logic fails in that "Grocery Store" has prior use and too generic which would prevent Apple from Trademarking it. Before Apple launched it's App store how many existed? Zero. There was no such store using that name before. Apples not suing Amazon for selling Apps, but for using it's name.

    A more accurate example would be you going and opening a store called rwpritchett store that sells X. Then a someone else in town opens their own store and calls it rwpritchett store also that sells the same thing. I hope even you can see how some people could be confused and think that they are the same store.
  • 6 Hide
    rantoc , July 9, 2011 7:58 PM
    thaile4everA more accurate example would be you going and opening a store called rwpritchett store that sells X. Then a someone else in town opens their own store and calls it rwpritchett store also that sells the same thing. I hope even you can see how some people could be confused and think that they are the same store.


    The previous example was far more accurate then yours since both stores sells Apps and both have that part in their name. Not something unique like your professionally named rwpritchett that sells app. Thats would have been a trademark. App however is not, hopefully you know that apps existed long before apple took that (like so much else but that is off topic)
  • 2 Hide
    pythonic13 , July 9, 2011 8:22 PM
    @thaile4ever you are missing the point of his whole grocery store analogy you focused on the fact that he used groceries but he could have put anything in, the point is that a company selling "x" cannot create a store called "x store" and expect to be able to trademark it. Your second point would only make sense in this situation if the store was selling "rwpritchett", if the store was selling bananas then yes it can trademark the name "rwpritchett".

    Also if you cant tell the difference between the apple app store and the amazon app store, get off the internet..... asap
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