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Judge Dismisses Apple Trademark Claims Against Amazon's Appstore

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

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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.

Top Rated Comments

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17 months ago
In reality, Apple should not have been allowed to trademark such a generic name as "App Store"
Rating: 49 Positives
17 months ago

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".


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.
Rating: 25 Positives
17 months ago

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".


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.
Rating: 24 Positives
17 months ago
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.
Rating: 24 Positives
17 months ago
Good judgement
Rating: 24 Positives
17 months ago

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.


Genuinely hope you're being sarcastic, because if not ..... wow.
Rating: 22 Positives
17 months ago
.
Rating: 18 Positives
17 months ago

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".


Source? Pretty sure others were just as lazy and called their stuff "apps" instead of applications prior to 2008.
Rating: 17 Positives
17 months ago

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".


You are incorrect. There were (at least) app stores for palm pilots.
Rating: 16 Positives
17 months ago
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".

EDIT:

Okay, I did some research like macsmurf suggested.

Wikipedia:
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".
Rating: 16 Positives

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