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Apple Continues Sending Cease and Desist Letters Regarding 'App Store' Usage

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    #1
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    Even as a judge is expressing skepticism over whether Apple can win its case against Amazon regarding the "App Store" trademark, Apple continues to send out cease and desist letters to other entities using the term in their businesses.

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    Earlier this week, open source startup Amahi reported on its blog (via The Next Web) that Apple had served the company with a cease and desist letter demanding that it stop using an "App Store" section heading on its website. Apple has demanded that Amahi cease using the "App Store" term on its website and to "refrain from such uses in the future."
    Amahi has launched a "name the store" contest to allow its users to help create a new, non-infringing name for the company's application marketplace. For the time being, Amahi has cleverly begun using a randomized list of names such as "App Depot", "Appalog", "App Market", "Addons", "Amahi Apps", "Appmahi", and many more on the tab that previously contained the "App Store" term.

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    But Apple has been targeting even smaller entities as well, as we just heard from the owner of pcappstore.com, who says that Apple yesterday sent him a cease and desist email, with the official paperwork still on its way to him. In this case, Apple has gone beyond a simple cease and desist order and additionally demanded that the owner turn over the pcappstore.com domain to Apple, citing the potential for customer confusion.

    The site owner notes that he has owned the domain since November 2008, after Apple debuted its App Store earlier in the year.

    Apple has yet to even officially be granted the registered "App Store" trademark, having applied for it in July 2008 as the marketplace debuted. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tentatively granted Apple the trademark in January 2010 and published it for opposition, and Microsoft has been leading an effort to have the mark denied.

    Trademark registration is not required, however, although registration does convey significant benefits and privileges within the law. Even as the trademark registration process remains ongoing, Apple feels compelled to protect the mark lest it become considered a generic term deemed ineligible for protection. Microsoft, Amazon, and others are of course arguing that "App Store" is inherently a generic term.

    Article Link: Apple Continues Sending Cease and Desist Letters Regarding 'App Store' Usage
     
  2. macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    #2
    Maybe Apple should then prevent their CEO from diluting the mark :

    http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-steve-jobs-referred-to-app-stores-2011-4#ixzz1Q5bVy2ny

    So much for that.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    #3
    Stupid... and lame. I am pretty sure the term is far to generic to be trademarked.

    Plus I am pretty sure people have used it before Apple...
     
  4. macrumors G4

    *LTD*

    #4
    Trademark registration is not required, however, although registration does convey significant benefits and privileges within the law. Even as the trademark registration process remains ongoing, Apple feels compelled to protect the mark lest it become considered a generic term deemed ineligible for protection.

    Well there's the reason. Apple is doing all it can to protect the name while the case is ongoing.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    #5
    How generic are:

    Windows or Internet Explorer?

    Perhaps they should be removed from MS at the same time?
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    #6
    The trademark application even failed the first time because it was thought to be too generic. I don't see this succeeding.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    #7
    Apple did not trademark the word "App" like Microsoft trademarked the word "Windows", and even still trademarks are not copyrights in that it only applies in a very specific instance. Even in the computer realm, the word "windows" is used to refer to a rectangular area of a screen which an application presents to you for an interface, and not an operating system name. It's all about specific instances...

    And as you can see in post #2, even Apple's own CEO is using it in generic terms. That's pretty much the final nail in the coffin right there.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    #8
    I had never seen the term used until Apple used it and I've been in the biz for decades. I don't know if it's trademarkable or not but Apple certainly put the term into the vernacular and that's undeniable.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    #9
    If Windows was a brand of windows, I would agree.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    #10
    Maybe you should understand that verbal interpretation is much different than full fledged marketing and advertising.
    Even though the words can be used against him, it isn't a serious offense to call Android's App Marketplace - Androids app store. I am pretty sure most people do.

    But marketing Android's App Marketplace using Android's App Store is entirely a different thing than the one you quoted.

    My post doesn't imply that Android's usage would be wrong or the Apple against Amahi is right. Just pointing out that there's much difference b/w Steve Jobs quoting 'different app stores' and companies advertising their app stores as 'X app store'.
     
  11. Guest

    toddybody

    #11
    What a group of bitching lawyers.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    #12
    Not really. No more than if the president of Xerox said Canon xeroxed something making Xerox suddenly generic. Or if the president of Coke said Pepsi is making their own Coke products rendering Coke as generic from a trademark point of view.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    #13
    Apple is doing exactly what they should.

    I also think the companies approach to finding a new name is very clever and pretty awesome!

    I'm not sure how I feel about Apple "demanding" someone turn over a domain name. That sounds like an exaggeration to me.
     
  14. macrumors 65816

    #14
    Does anyone know anyone who has been confused about app stores?

    The only thing I can think of is someone who's really new to computers or smartphones and is wondering why they can't buy the same app for their iPhone from the same place as their friend's Android phone, or vice versa. "They're both 'app stores', why can't I buy it?".

    But the more this person uses their phone and gets more comfortable with it, the more they'll learn. And they'll no longer be confused.

    I'd be surprised if Apple wins this one.

    Especially since Steve Jobs even uses the term generically, as mentioned above.
     
  15. macrumors G5

    nagromme

    #15
    A generic term that wasn’t in common use before Apple (unlike, say, the term “windows”). In fact, the term “apps” wasn’t even used much pre-iPhone.

    But losing that term wouldn’t hurt Apple or the App Store that much. They do have to defend it—look at all their ads about the “App Store” (not the “iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad App Store” or the “Apple App” store or “iOS 5 App Store Which You Can Also Shop From Mac and Windows"). But if they lose, I won’t much care.

    Confusion is highly possible: someone sees an Apple App Store ad, or vaguely remembers the whole slew of them in general, and then goes to the store and buys an LG phone because it advertises an app store. Remember that the world (and the consumer touch-computing market Apple created) is not full of people as tech-savvy as we tech-rumor forum-goers! But I see future confusion/dilution being more of a problem: one that builds over time (through the efforts of competitor’s marketing). Not that much present brand dilution.
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    #16
    the name was almost never used before the iphone apps
     
  17. macrumors 603

    ChazUK

    #17
    They might as well defend it whilst there is still a chance. If they all but give up on it that may make things worse.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    #18
    instead of wasting their time on this Apple needs to fix the iOS issues in 4.3.3
     
  19. macrumors 68030

    #19
    Which really doesnt matter at all.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    #20
    What do you call the rectangular boxes in which applications and documents are displayed on your screen?

    One person using "App Store" to describe another product, specifically as an analogy to compare it to their own, does not make it a "generic term."

    It would be similar to him saying, "Microsoft is creating their own iPod." In other words, "Microsoft is creating their own version of iPod."
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    #21
    On another note:

    'App Store' is way generic.

    But I think people should agree that its because of Apple, those words mean much in the present era. Not saying that the other companies, couldn't do; but just that this time, Apple did.

    I myself am divided on the question whether Apple should get this trademark or not, but all in all I think, yes. Maybe they should give up so as to not dilute their reputation - but this in turn dilutes the reputation of the App Store which is well attributed to Apple's Application Download Center.

    I don't know where this will end, but I'll be quite happy if they did get it.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    #22
    The sad thing is, they have become the exact thing they warned you about in the 1984 advert. Controlling and dictatorial.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    #23
    It doesn't even matter at all.

    Regular usage and company marketing are too different things. Bloggers, news portals, etc have always been referring to other app stores as 'App Stores' already. There's no difference.

    Difference comes in proper application and implementation which is why we have these trademarks. Duh!
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    #24
    Right, because I'm sure Apple's legal team spends their nights as iOS engineers.
     
  25. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    #25
    Apple should give it up. It's getting petty.
     

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