Apple Drops Lawsuit Against Amazon Over App Store Terminology - The UpStream

Apple Drops Lawsuit Against Amazon Over App Store Terminology

posted Sunday Jul 14, 2013 by Nicholas DiMeo

Apple Drops Lawsuit Against Amazon Over App Store Terminology

Does anyone remember that Apple sued Amazon for their use of the term "Appstore" in relation to the Apple App Store? Well, Apple has finally dropped that suit after a two year battle in the courts. You can thank Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the US District Court in California for agreeing to close up the case between Amazon and Apple, with Apple agreeing not to sue Amazon any longer, beginning June 28th. In January, Judge Hamilton dismissed the case from her court, but Apple kept fighting every little detail, changing its reasoning slightly for the lawsuit each time they presented their argument.

Amazon has been using the term "Appstore" for their marketplace, which is very similar to Apple's "App Store" term that they've coined and trademarked in 2008 for their marketplace. The suit against Amazon was filed in March of 2011, saying that Amazon's Appstore title infringed on Apple's trademark and would confuse Apple customers. Either Apple was just being crazy, or their customers might be stupid enough to not understand the difference between Amazon and Apple.

A linguist even thought the case was a little crazy. Expert Ronald Butters filed a document with the US Patent and Trademark Office, saying that claiming "App Store" as a proper noun is insane, because they are both generic words, regardless if they're used together or not.

The compound noun app store means simply 'store at which apps are offered for sale,' which is merely a definition of the thing itself - a generic characterization.

On the dismissal of the case, an Apple rep said snidely, "with more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps. We no longer see a need to pursue (this) case," while Amazon said that they were "gratified that the court has conclusively dismissed this case."


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