Judge unimpressed with Apple 'App Store' claim

Jul 07, 2011
A man sitting on a balcony in Berlin last month surfs the web on an iPad while listening to music on his iPhone. A federal judge denied a bid by Apple to stop Amazon.com from calling its online shop for smartphone programs an "App Store."

A federal judge on Wednesday denied a bid by Apple to immediately stop Amazon.com from calling its online shop for smartphone programs an "App Store."

US District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton didn't buy Apple's argument that the phrase "App Store" was tantamount to a trademark, which it has applied for.

She ruled that Apple has not established that its "App Store" mark is famous in the sense of being "prominent" and "renowned."

"The evidence does show that Apple has spent a great deal of money on advertising and publicity, and has sold/provided/furnished a large number of apps from its App Store," Hamilton wrote in her ruling.

"However, there is also evidence that the term 'app store' is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices."

Regarding Apple's argument that the name "Amazon Appstore for " would cause confusion in the minds of consumers, the judge concluded that the phrase "App Store" was more "descriptive than it is distinctive."

Hamilton denied a request by Apple for a preliminary injunction that would have barred Amazon.com from referring to its software shop as an "Appstore" pending the outcome of a suit filed by Apple in the matter.

Amazon in March began offering applications for mobile devices running Google's Android software.

The Seattle, Washington-based Amazon offers free and paid programs for Android smartphones and in its "Amazon Appstore for Android" at www.amazon.com/appstore.

In a lawsuit filed in March, Apple, which sells applications through its "App Store," set out to bar Amazon from using a similar name, accusing it of

"unauthorized use of Apple's App Store trademark."

Apple said it coined the term App Store with the July 2008 launch of the service and has spent "millions of dollars on print, television, and Internet advertising."

Apple said the US had approved its application to register App Store as a trademark -- a move opposed by Microsoft, which offers mobile applications for devices running its Windows Phone software.

The case is being heard by an appeals board.

The suit seeks unspecified damages and for the court to enjoin Amazon from using the phrase App Store.

The Amazon Appstore can be reached through a Web browser or from Android smartphones or tablets using the Amazon Appstore application.

Explore further: MasterCard, Zwipe announce fingerprint-sensor card

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft fights Apple claim to 'App Store' name

Jan 12, 2011

Microsoft is fighting rival Apple's claim that it has dibs on the name "App Store," arguing the term is generic and can be used by any shop selling programs for gadgets such as smartphones.

Yahoo! helps find smartphone 'apps'

Jun 16, 2011

Yahoo! has begun helping people navigate the sea of applications available for Apple iPhones or mobile gadgets powered by Google-backed Android software.

Apple pulls WikiLeaks app from App Store

Dec 21, 2010

Apple said Tuesday it had removed an unofficial WikiLeaks application for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad from its App Store because it violated its guidelines for software developers.

Apple’s App Store Downloads Top 1.5 Billion in First Year

Jul 14, 2009

Apple today announced that customers have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications in just one year from its App Store, the largest applications store in the world. The App Store is also growing at an incredible pace ...

Recommended for you

MasterCard, Zwipe announce fingerprint-sensor card

Oct 18, 2014

On Friday, MasterCard and Oslo, Norway-based Zwipe announced the launch of a contactless payment card featuring an integrated fingerprint sensor. Say goodbye to PINs. This card, they said, is the world's ...

Apple starts iPhone 6 sales in key China market

Oct 17, 2014

Apple began selling its latest iPhone in China Friday, nearly a month after other major territories due to a licence delay by regulators, but it faces a tough battle with rivals led by Samsung in the crucial ...

Microsoft CEO launches diversity training effort

Oct 17, 2014

(AP)—Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has again apologized to employees and announced in a company-wide memo that all workers will receive expanded training on how to foster an inclusive culture as he works to repair damage ...

Arguments made in ex-dictator's suit against game

Oct 17, 2014

(AP)—A judge has heard arguments from lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani calling for the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against video game giant Activision by former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

User comments : 6

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

epsi00
5 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2011
Should we start raising our hands and let Apple check if what we mean to say does not infringe on one of its patents before we speak? Or Should we use the word app dash (or space ) store to make sure it differs from apple's appstore? Good thing apple did not patent the word internet, web, browser...we will all be speechless by now. can't say anything without a potential lawsuit against you. Ridiculous.
krundoloss
4 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2011
I would absolutely love apple if they werent such Nazi's. They lock down everything and make you spend loads of money on thier proprietary stuff. iTunes as a device interface system is horrible, yet they force you to use it. I wish apple would just make technology and sell it to other companies like Samsung and Microsoft, so we could enjoy Mac - level technology without paying the Mac Price Tag. PS - if you are a MAC person, you are rich. Just accept it.
Sin_Amos
5 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2011
Apple equals fail. Pc for life.
Jayman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2011
Once a gouger always a gouger !! But he makes the best darned hardware there is.
FrankHerbert
0.7 / 5 (48) Jul 07, 2011
"Mac - level technology"

lol
_nigmatic10
not rated yet Jul 08, 2011
Me-sa Hate-sa Applz productsaz!

The package is pretty, but once past the hood, it's a no brainer.