Got a tip for us? Share it...

New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

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

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.


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."
Why Amahi? Why pick on such a small target when there are so many people using the app store term? Amahi is a Open Source startup, and is not even in the mobile space. We may never know ...

We're still trying to determine what is the best course of action, however, this looks like a rather heavy handed move. Amahi being literally nothing next to Apple (sigh) we do not have the resources to fight this battle.
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.


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.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

41 months ago
Apple should give it up. It's getting petty.
Rating: 13 Votes
41 months ago

How generic are:

Windows or Internet Explorer?

Perhaps they should be removed from MS at the same time?


If Windows was a brand of windows, I would agree.
Rating: 13 Votes
41 months ago

Apple feels compelled to protect the mark lest it become considered a generic term deemed ineligible for protection


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

In that call, Jobs said, "In addition to Google's own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own [B]app stores for Android[/B]. So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid."


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

So much for that.
Rating: 13 Votes
41 months ago
What a group of bitching lawyers.
Rating: 12 Votes
41 months ago

instead of wasting their time on this Apple needs to fix the iOS issues in 4.3.3


Right, because I'm sure Apple's legal team spends their nights as iOS engineers.
Rating: 10 Votes
41 months ago

Yes, there was :

But let's not let the facts get in the way of your Apple defense. ;)


Thanks for proving Apple's case: "App Store" clearly CAN be trademarked, since you just quoted a trademark filing from the USPTO. The mark was abandoned, and now Apple has claimed it because they are actually using it.
Rating: 7 Votes
41 months ago

How generic are:

Windows or Internet Explorer?

Perhaps they should be removed from MS at the same time?


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.
Rating: 7 Votes
41 months ago

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.

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.
Rating: 7 Votes
41 months ago
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...
Rating: 7 Votes
41 months ago

it's not true, but facts aren't things some people take much notice of.

There was no 'app store' before Apple termed the idea


Yes, there was :

Word Mark APPSTORE
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 042. US 100 101. G & S: providing computer software application hosting services by means of a global computer information network, where such services allow multiple users to rent software applications developed by applicant or third parties
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 75542841
Filing Date August 26, 1998
Current Filing Basis 1B
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition February 29, 2000
Owner (APPLICANT) SAGE NETWORKS, INC. CORPORATION BY ASSIGNMENT DELAWARE 215 FIRST STREET CAMBRIDGE MASSACHUSETTS 02142
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record John P. Courtney
Type of Mark SERVICE MARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date November 24, 2000


But let's not let the facts get in the way of your Apple defense. ;)
Rating: 7 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]