Judge Skeptical of Apple's 'Appstore' Trademark Claims

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    A federal judge has hinted she will deny a motion from Apple asking the court to prevent Amazon.com from using the term "Appstore" for its Android app marketplace while a lawsuit over Amazon's use of the term continues. Apple initially sued Amazon this past March.

    Bloomberg quoted U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton saying Apple had not demonstrated "real evidence of actual confusion" among customers trying to differentiate between Apple and Amazon's stores, and this was a "stumbling block for Apple." The judge continued, saying she was "troubled by the showing that you've made so far, but that's where you're likely not to prevail at this early juncture."

    There was no indication from the judge how quickly she intends to rule on the matter.

    Article Link: Judge Skeptical of Apple's 'Appstore' Trademark Claims
  2. LucasG macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2010
    Sounds fair, I think. When I hear App Store it could be any online app store. When I here iTunes Store I think of Apple's App Store.
  3. dethmaShine macrumors 68000

    Apr 13, 2010
    Into the lungs of Hell

    I think Apple should give it up on that. Too generic man! :|
  4. smoge macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2011
    trademarking the word appstore is like trademarking the little i in font of a word.
    It only a matter of time before i hat to pay for that.
  5. itsthenewdc macrumors member


    Jul 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Granted, it is a pretty generic term.. but you can't really tell me that when you hear App Store you don't think of Apple first? Android has for the most part been associated with the term marketplace. Apple pretty much made the term it is today, despite the generic aspect.
  6. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Apple should have obtained rights to it back in 2008.

    Goof on Apple for making the attempt, but it might very well be that at this point, consumers won't get confused. Apple already differentiates themselves conspicuously enough, even in this area.
  7. yourstation macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I disagree. You have to think back to when Apple was the only App Store. It did mean Apple and another organisation using the term and trying to make it generic should not sway the judgement here.
  8. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Ouch, that's like being taken to the woodshed for lawyers I guess. I agree, just give it up. Some things are worth fighting for, this isn't one of them.
  9. 314631 macrumors 6502a

    May 12, 2009
    iDeaded myself
    This is absolutely worth fighting for. App Store should rightly belong to Apple in the context they use it. It's as valuable to them as the generic term Windows is to Microsoft. So I'm outraged by this news.
  10. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Is this an argument that the term is so closely associated with Apple that they should own it, or is it an argument that because you think of Apple first, it's not hurting them at all to have others use it (and may actually be benefitting them)?
  11. Andy-V macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Not this again.

    Microsoft calls their OS 'Windows'. 'Windows' is in no way a generic term for an operating system. Yes, within multiple OS's there are 'windows', but MS has no trademark on that. They are still called 'windows' in Mac OS.

    This is generic in the sense that it seems a bit like trying to trademark 'Laptop store' or something. App is a shortening of 'application'. Maybe Apple were the first to shorten it like that, but it's become too widely used for them to TM it now.
  12. Robincognito macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2011
    I dearly hope we don't hear hear further cries of "but Word and Windows are really generic; how is it that these words were trademarked by Microsoft?"

    Because "Word" and "Windows" have never been used to describe a word processor or an operating system. Trademarking "Appstore" is like trademarking "Grocery Store". It's absurd.
  13. winston1236 macrumors 68000

    Dec 13, 2010

    i dont know, there was another company that managed to trademark "windows" and "office"
  14. Robincognito macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2011
    How is "Windows" generic? When has the word "windows" ever been used to describe an operating system?
  15. HelveticaNeue macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2010
    I believe that the rights to App Store should be granted to Apple, though I assumed that it wouldn't be so this is no real shock to me. Personally, I believe that if the iPhone never existed no one would be using the term app outside of the developing community. Apple popularized the term and ushered it into everyday lingo. To me Application Store would be the generic term.

    But whatever, it's just a name. Let 'em have it.
  16. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    And again, people just don't get it.

    App Store sells apps. It is a store for applications, therefore it is a generic term. Just like hardware store couldn't be trademarked by a company that sold hardware.

    If "Windows" was the name of a business selling windows (like you put into houses) then that too would be generic. There is (and was) nothing generic about calling a piece of computer software "Windows".

    Likewise, Apple owns a trademark on the words "Mac" and "Macintosh" despite these being a common terms used for a raincoat. But because Apple isn't selling raincoats, the trademark is valid.

    "Office" is a trademark owned by Microsoft which it applies to a suite of software. The software itself is not an office, therefore the trademark stands.
  17. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    Actually, a "Macintosh" is a kind of apple.
  18. Megakazbek macrumors regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    Please provide an example where "App store" was used to describe a software store before Apple.
  19. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    It doesn't have to have been used before. Both components of the trademark are generic terms, and together the term is generic. There were stores selling applications before Apple launched its "App Store" - heck, any retail store selling computer software could be described as an App Store.
  20. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    Come on who did not see this one coming. Apple did not really have a case and it just took someone with enough guts to force Apples hand and prove it.

    Amazon did it and proved that Apple should not have the term "App Store" trademark.

    Apple App Store is fine.
    Oh and my personal favorite argument by Apple was saying App was short for Apple. That one does not even pass the straight face test. It showed the shear desperation if that was going to be the argument.
  21. ictiosapiens, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011

    ictiosapiens macrumors regular

    May 9, 2006
    This court case is so ridiculous, that I'm sure all of apple's legal costs are coming out of their marketing budget... Hell, that's probably the case with most of the latest court cases...
  22. erzhik macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2010
    Did anyone except die hard apple fans think they would win?
  23. justinfreid macrumors 6502


    Nov 24, 2009
    NEW Jersey / USA
    I didn't read the complaint, but did Apple really claim that "App" was short for or somehow signified "Apple"?

    And, I agree, "App Store" is too generic on its own and should require a modifier: iOS, Windows, Amazon, Android, Apple, etc.
  24. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
  25. supmango macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2008
    I will be very surprised if Apple gives up this easily. Amazon and Apple will be at this for a while.

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