Apple losing App Store dispute with Amazon

 

By Posted 7 Jul 2011, 12:53

Those of you that own an Apple device, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, will be very familiar with the term App Store. It is the name that they give to their online market from which apps for those devices can be purchased. Back in march we brought you news that Amazon had launched an App Store of its own dedicated to Android apps.

It soon became apparent that Apple was not happy with the fact that the Amazon version was being named exactly the same as their version, so decided they would sue. They built their case arguing that the term App Store most commonly referred to their version and could be easily confused if Amazon were to use it also.

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Nevertheless the Amazon App Store launched regardless of the lawsuit. At the time Apple had applied for a trademark on the term and it was still being considered when the Amazon App Store launched. However Microsoft, who was also looking to open a similar store, was countering the application claiming it was too generic a term to be copyrighted to one company.

Apple then tried a different strategy, taking advantage of a malware situation that was occurring with certain Android apps. They argued in court that Amazon’s App Store posed a threat to users and customers as they offer insufficient levels of security which the infected apps were able to bypass and be downloaded. They also claimed therefore the Amazon version was inferior to the Apple App Store because of this and tarnished the name.

Amazon was able to overcome the problem however, identifying the infected apps and removing them. This brings us today’s news, which according to The Inquirer tells us that Apple has actually lost their case against Amazon using the App Store term. It seems US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton voted in favor of Amazon claiming Apple had provided insufficient evidence that proves the term can be easily confused.

Like Microsoft, Amazon has always said the term is too generic despite the Apple protests and the Judge agreed, claiming the term was ‘purely generic like the term Toy Store.’ It was also argued that those who owned devices expensive enough to download apps, were at least sophisticated enough to know the difference between the two App Store and the Android apps and Apple apps.

Was this the correct verdict from the Judge or should Apple have been given rights to the term?