Judge Dismisses Apple Trademark Claims Against Amazon's Appstore

ck2875

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
975
2,461
Brighton
People definitely used the abbreviation "app" well before Apple launched their "App Store".


The problem with Apple's "App Store" isn't only that it's generic but also that it's descriptive.
However, no one used the phrase "App Store", which is what was actually trademarked. Again, look at google trends. The "View Change Over Time" option is particularly telling.

http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=app%20store

It doesn't matter if it is the most description generic term in the world so long as it acquires secondary meaning in the public conscious, and for that Apple's marketing department deserves a gold star.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Because "Applications" didn't fit on a key.
Doesn't matter. You're spitting hairs down to the atom in an attempt to win your argument.

Like I said above, Apple doesn't own a trademark for "app" or "apps". No one does. It's common usage. Has been since long before the dawn of the mobile market. And since no one owns "apps", then "app store" is a generic, descriptive term, like "grocery store".

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It doesn't matter if it is the most description generic term in the world so long as it acquires secondary meaning in the public conscious, and for that Apple's marketing department deserves a gold star.
You can't just go in, popularize something, and claim ownership.

If they called it the software repository instead of the app store, would Apple own "software repository" now that grandma's talking about getting her solitaire game through it? No. Because that's a descriptive, common phrase in the 'nix world.
 

Oletros

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2009
6,004
57
Premià de Mar
Because "Applications" didn't fit on a key.

See, there are other abbreviated terms on this calculator like "NXT" instead of "Next", "HIST" instead of "History", or "SYMB" instead of "Symbols".

That doesn't mean that people will start referring to those functions as their abbreviated names. Most will see the abbreviated term but read the actual term, like you would say "Control" even if the key on your keyboard says "Ctrl".

Are you saying a company shouldn't be allowed to be called and trademark "NXT", "CTRL" or "SYMB" if it's not trademarked already, just because they are abbreviations written on keyboards?

The fact that it was abbreviated on tiny calculator keys doesn't mean it was abbreviated in common language and a generic term everybody used.
Please, stop, app term has been used by people since at least the 80s
 

ck2875

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
975
2,461
Brighton
Doesn't matter. You're spitting hairs down to the atom in an attempt to win your argument.

Like I said above, Apple doesn't own a trademark for "app" or "apps". No one does. It's common usage. Has been since before the dawn of the mobile area. And since no one owns "apps", then "app store" is a generic, descriptive term, like "grocery store".

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You can't just go in, popularize something, and claim ownership.

If they called it the software repository instead of the app store, would Apple own "software repository" simply because they popularized it? No. Because that's a descriptive, common phrase in the 'nix world.
I realize this crowd doesn't necessarily care about what the actual law is and why they are wrong in their interpretation of it, but alas. It doesn't matter if it is generic and descriptive so long as you gain the necessary secondary meaning.

--
Yamaha Int'l Corp. v. Hoshino Gakki Co. Ltd., 840 F.2d 1572, 1580, 6 USPQ2d 1001, 1007 (Fed. Cir. 1988), quoting In re Capital Formation Counselors, Inc., 219 USPQ 916, 917 n.2 (TTAB 1983).

The purpose and significance of secondary meaning may be described as follows:

A term which is descriptive ... may, through usage by one producer with reference to his product, acquire a special significance so that to the consuming public the word has come to mean that the product is produced by that particular manufacturer. 1 Nims, Unfair Competition and Trademarks at §37 (1947). This is what is known as secondary meaning.
 

Oletros

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2009
6,004
57
Premià de Mar
However, no one used the phrase "App Store", which is what was actually trademarked. Again, look at google trends. The "View Change Over Time" option is particularly telling.

http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=app store

It doesn't matter if it is the most description generic term in the world so long as it acquires secondary meaning in the public conscious, and for that Apple's marketing department deserves a gold star.
App store doesn't have any secondary meaning
 

ck2875

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
975
2,461
Brighton
You can't just go in, popularize something, and claim ownership.

If they called it the software repository instead of the app store, would Apple own "software repository" now that grandma's talking about getting her solitaire game through it? No. Because that's a descriptive, common phrase in the 'nix world.
Again, yes, you can. No one was using "App Store" before 2008, so it was fair game.

http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=app store
 

SLBear

macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2010
13
0
I'm tired of this name game

Whatever happened to programs? A common question for Windows users is where are all my programs? The Applications folder, of course.
 

Enectic

macrumors member
Jul 11, 2011
34
13
Because "Applications" didn't fit on a key.

See, there are other abbreviated terms on this calculator like "NXT" instead of "Next", "HIST" instead of "History", or "SYMB" instead of "Symbols".

That doesn't mean that people will start referring to those functions as their abbreviated names. Most will see the abbreviated term but read the actual term, like you would say "Control" even if the key on your keyboard says "Ctrl".

Are you saying a company shouldn't be allowed to be called and trademark "NXT", "CTRL" or "SYMB" if it's not trademarked already, just because they are abbreviations written on keyboards?

The fact that it was abbreviated on tiny calculator keys doesn't mean it was abbreviated in common language and a generic term everybody used.
Well, at least for the TI calculators, TI makes several references to the specific term "Apps" as an actual term and not just an abbreviation.

http://education.ti.com/en/us/product-resources/download

http://education.ti.com/~/media/6CC4C5AED5004F808892046AD33D4A35

A few examples from the above manual:

"Apps are independent applications which are stored in Flash ROM."

"The App slots are actually individual sectors of Flash ROM where Apps are stored."
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Again, yes, you can.
No, you can't. Hence why the judged dismissed the trademark.

I can't just go out, make an incredibly tasty hot sauce that sets the world ablaze with it's flavor, then turn around and trademark "hot sauce".

"...but...but...but no one used "hot sauce" all that much until Renzatic popularized it with his delicious product! I mean sure, there have been hot sauces before, but they didn't sell well. Hot sauce is now fixed in the public consciousness as Renzatic's Hot Sauce. He should own the trademark".

...no. Because it's a generic descriptive term that's been in use for far longer than my product has been on the market. It wasn't incredibly widespread, but hot sauce affectionados the world over have been using the term for years and years now. I can't just roll in, take the phrase, open up a Hot Sauce Store, then call it all my own because it's now transfixed in the public consciousness due to my product.

It's too generic to trademark.
 

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
1,371
614
It is kinda tacky for amazon to completely copy the name tho. At least google called their store something unique.
Exactly, it's obvious that Amazon copied to bootstrap their service offering. Google has their Marketplace. Amazon could have used Shop, Stop, or even Android Jungle (because we all know that Android is a fragmented mess... just kidding ;) ).. but copying doesn't mean it's illegal.
 

rendevouspoo

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2012
235
2
To be perfectly honest, I can't believe Apple hasn't went after someone because they've used the color black to color their phone.
 

Oletros

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2009
6,004
57
Premià de Mar
http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=app store

Yes, it does, as Apple popularized it. This is a legal definition by the way... which doesn't mean that it means something other than App Store. Secondary meaning means that Apple simply popularized the term.
No, your legal definition doesn't apply to popularizing but to imply that the term is only made by the one that wants to own the trademark.

And that doesn't apply to App Store if you follow what you have quoted
 

pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,157
1,081
Montreal, Canada
Well, at least for the TI calculators, TI makes several references to the specific term "Apps" as an actual term and not just an abbreviation.

http://education.ti.com/en/us/product-resources/download

http://education.ti.com/~/media/6CC4C5AED5004F808892046AD33D4A35

A few examples from the above manual:

"Apps are independent applications which are stored in Flash ROM."

"The App slots are actually individual sectors of Flash ROM where Apps are stored."
In a manual written in 2010.

If the term was as widely used as some people here claim, why is it so hard so post a screenshot to software from before 2007 by any other company using the word "App". The only examples I've seen are far-fetched like those abbreviations on tiny calculator keys.

I've been quoted close to 50 times, often insulted, and yet it seems so hard to post a single screenshot that backs up what you claim.
 
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ck2875

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
975
2,461
Brighton
No, your legal definition doesn't apply to popularizing but to imply that the term is only made by the one that wants to own the trademark.

And that doesn't apply to App Store if you follow what you have quoted
Report back once you're an IP attorney. :rolleyes:
 

false

macrumors newbie
Nov 3, 2007
13
0
This is a support doc for Windows 3.1 that was released in 1992 IIRC. The term application in reference to a program running is used roughtly 59 times. As far back as I can remember app was always short hand for application.


http:\\support.microsoft.com/kb/83245
 

Oletros

macrumors 603
Jul 27, 2009
6,004
57
Premià de Mar
In a manual written in 2010.

If the term was as widely used as some people here claim, why is it so hard so post a screenshot to software from before 2007 by any other company using the word "App". The only examples I've seen are far-fetched like those abbreviations on tiny calculator keys.

I've been quoted close to 50 times, often insulted, and yet it seems so hard to post a single screenshot that backs up what you claim.
Have you seen that the first edition is from 2004? Or do you now claim that HP changed it after 2008?
 

Enectic

macrumors member
Jul 11, 2011
34
13
In a manual written in 2010.

If the term was as widely used as some people here claim, why is it so hard so post a screenshot to software from before 2007 by any other company using the word "App". The only examples I've seen are far-fetched like those abbreviations on tiny calculator keys.

I've been quoted close to 50 times, often insulted, and yet it seems so hard to post a single screenshot that backs up what you claim.
Maybe so but the "Apps" references were in previous iterations of the manual. Here is a guidebook written by TI in 2004:

http://www.math.oregonstate.edu/home/programs/undergrad/TI_Manuals/TI84PlusGuidebook.pdf

Here is a TI-84 page that also has several references to the "Apps" term used between 2004 and 2006:

http://www.datamath.org/Graphing/TI-84PLUS_SE.htm

Of interest in the above page is a press release released in 2006 stating:

"Designed for classroom teaching and learning, graphing calculators feature larger, multiple-line display screens that allow students to run educational applications (Apps), see each step in their mathematical computations and create graphs from equations typed into the device."

"The TI-84 Plus Silver Edition comes pre-loaded with 24 Apps and 500 SAT and 500 ACT test prep questions, and it allows students to download additional Apps and games via the device’s USB connection."

And lastly here's a one example of a forum post from 2004 showing TI users talking about the "Apps" they have installed on their calculator:

http://calcg.org/cgi-bin/forum.cgi?t=5235

I'm sure a ton more can be found. This took about 2 minutes to find using Google.
 
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false

macrumors newbie
Nov 3, 2007
13
0
Win95 properties tab. Also clear use of the term application in the windows environment.