Judge Dismisses Apple Trademark Claims Against Amazon's Appstore

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Amazon has succeeded in having Apple's false advertising lawsuit over its "App Store" trademark thrown out, reports Bloomberg via The Next Web.

    In early 2011, Apple sued Amazon over the latter company's new "Appstore" for Android devices, claiming the 'app store' name was trademarked by Apple and would cause confusion amongst consumers.

    Apple claimed Amazon's "inferior" app store would tarnish Apple's reputation. Last year, a judge indicated skepticism over Apple's claims, saying Apple had not demonstrated "real evidence of actual confusion" between the various "app stores", and suggested that Apple was "not likely to prevail" in the case.

    Microsoft also fought against Apple, arguing that 'app store' is a compound noun that is a generic characterization of the store itself -- a store for apps.

    Update: The Verge has the complete court ruling, which actually addresses only the false advertising aspect of Apple's claims. The dispute over the alleged trademark infringement by Amazon remains active.

    Article Link: Judge Dismisses Apple Trademark Claims Against Amazon's Appstore
  2. iMikeT macrumors 68020

    Jul 8, 2006
    No matter, Apple's App Store will still have better apps.
  3. Eduardo1971 macrumors 65816


    Jun 16, 2006
    Lost Angeles, Ca. usa
    I had a feeling that Amazon was going to win this-but Apple's 'app store' has bigger exposure/draw due to the sheer number of available applications.
  4. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030


    Sep 18, 2003
    London, UK
    In reality, Apple should not have been allowed to trademark such a generic name as "App Store"
  5. mjoshi123 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2010
    Kudos to judge for using some commonsense and Amazon for winning this one. Amazon Appstore might not be as fat as Apple's but still this is symoblic victory, Apple should focus less on litigating and more on bringing out products that made Apple a world-class brand.
  6. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    But I also don't blame Apple for trying to get / enforce the trademark.
  7. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I don't blame them for trying. I just never thought they had a chance or that it should get the trademark.
  8. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Suspect this is mostly due to Amazon changing from using AppStore as they did when the suit was filled to AmazonAppStore as they do now. Totally different name.

    That they changed it on their own renders the complaint moot as that is the outcome that would have been achieved along with perhaps some token money award. Maybe. More likely the judge would have said as he did, that Apple can't prove actual money lost so they get no money in damages
  9. pgiguere1, Jan 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013

    pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Whether "App Store" should be trademarkable or not is another question, but there's no doubt that the term "App" wasn't used at all before Apple's App Store.

    Microsoft didn't even call Windows software "applications", they had always called them "programs".

    I find it weird that a diminutive of a generic term is necessarily considered a generic term as well, even if nobody used the term. By the same logic, you couldn't have a trademark on something like "Mus Store" or "Boo Store". Meanwhile, it's OK for Microsoft to trademark terms like "Windows", "Office", "Word".


    Okay, I did some research like macsmurf suggested.

    In recent years, the term "app" has been used to exclusively refer to applications for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, referring to their smaller scope in relation to applications used by PCs.

    There may be some anecdotal use of the term "app" before the iPhone (none of which I can easily find using Google, point me in the right direction if you can), but never was it a standard term used by any major tech company.

    People started to refer to computer/mobile software as "apps" after Apple's App store, not before.

    The only exception I can find is the term "Killer app", but like I said earlier, it has a different meaning. It's also the diminutive of "application", but you wouldn't use the term in the same context. For example, you could say that "X video game" is a console's "killer app". However, would you refer to console games as "apps"? I don't think anybody would, because it doesn't fit with the modern definition of "app" which Apple is responsible for.

    Halo was the Xbox's killer app.
    You wouldn't say "let's go to Gamestop preorder this app called Halo".
  10. martygras9 macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2007
    I do agree with you, but at the same time, if Lucas can own the term 'droid' why shouldn't 'app' pass the test?

    Much larger conversation, I suppose, regarding the patent office.
  11. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire
    I disagree 100%. Apple is a business who's object is making profits for their shareholders. They would be remise if they didn't pursue all avenues of revenue generation. As others have stated in the past, the litigation efforts and product generation efforts are done by different groups of people. Elimination of the litigation efforts would not mean bringing out more products.
  12. EvilEvil macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    New York City
    That's where they begin to fall. Happens all companies that get too big. They get greedy and their products eventually start going down the crapper.
  13. BiigBiscuit macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2011
    MacRumors should probably update their article. According to The Verge:
  14. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    You are incorrect. There were (at least) app stores for palm pilots.
  15. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    Makes sence. Not sure you can Trade mark app store forever.
  16. Arcady macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2002
    Lexington, KY
    Bill Gates called Internet Explorer a "killer app" during the Microsoft trial in the 90's. The use of the word "app" to refer to software programs has been around since at least the 80's. I can remember announcements and flyers for "new apps" at MacWorld Expo going back to the late 80's. It was probably used before that time.
  17. Padraig macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2005
    Genuinely hope you're being sarcastic, because if not ..... wow.
  18. macsmurf macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2007
    Not only that. Apple also invented the term "Store". :rolleyes:

    I wonder how the internet would look if people did just two seconds of research before posting. Of course these people probably refuse to use Google for religious reasons.
  19. Vizin, Jan 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  20. FSMBP macrumors 68020


    Jan 22, 2009
    Source? Pretty sure others were just as lazy and called their stuff "apps" instead of applications prior to 2008.
  21. Arcady macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2002
    Lexington, KY
    The file extension on applications in OS X is .app as it was on NeXT going back into the 80's.
  22. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    And yesterday I bought a cannoli in Little Italy. Relevance?
  23. tasset macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2007
    While I don't think Amazon, Google, or Microsoft should be legally prohibited from setting up and using the moniker "appstore" I do find it somewhat tacky to just lift the name.
    But I don't think Amazon has a problem marketing tacky knockoffs, they sell quite a bit of tangible goods knockoffs through their store without shame as well.
  24. Arcady macrumors 6502


    May 24, 2002
    Lexington, KY
    This is just as silly as a bunch of drug stores suing each other for using the words "drug store."

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