Judge Denies Apple Injunction Against Amazon's Appstore

amazon appstore iconA federal judge has denied Apple's preliminary injunction demanding Amazon stop using the term "appstore" for its Android marketplace. Apple sued Amazon back in March and asked U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton to immediately order Amazon to cease using the term. Apple believes the term is trademark protected.

Several weeks ago, the judge in the case expressed her skepticism regarding Apple's argument that "App Store" should be a non-generic trademark and today ruled that Apple has not thus far established "a likelihood of confusion" between Apple and Amazon's app stores.

A preliminary injunction is an order by the court to restrain a particular activity, usually ordered if the judge believes there is substantial likelihood of success on the merits of the case, or if there is a substantial threat of irreparable damage if the injunction is not granted, among other reasons

Apple believes use of the term by other companies can "confuse and mislead customers." Apple has numerous cease and desist letters to companies using the term, including the owner of pcappstore.com, and open source startup Amahi.

Judge Hamilton set October 2012 as a trial date.

Top Rated Comments

ahdickter Avatar
145 months ago
As much as well all love Apple, they're being the bullies in the sandbox here. They requested the owner of "pcappstore.com" to turn over the site to them? Honestly, that's just ridiculous.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jlgolson Avatar
145 months ago
good. No one will get "confused" because Amazon has an App Store. I think its a generic name. Windows, Safari, Mac, Apple, Macintosh, all existed before Apple and Microsoft.
Well, sort of. The issue arises because if a company doesn't defend its trademarks, they automatically are termed "generic" and they lose them.

If Apple wants to keep its trademarks, it MUST attempt to defend them. Doesn't mean they're right, but its unsurprising that Apple is pursuing the issue.

Glad Apple didn't win that... 'App Store' is pretty generic and sounds more like a descriptive term than a branding.
They didn't lose the trial, just a motion asking for a preliminary injunction.

The trial is scheduled for next year.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Vegasman Avatar
145 months ago
Yet, interestingly enough, the term "application" was used all over the Windows file system tools, since at least 2000:


Nice touch on the "Windows Apps" folder ;)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
145 months ago
When I was a PC user, I never really heard of the word application (Program instead), until I switch to my first mac.

Yet, interestingly enough, the term "application" was used all over the Windows file system tools, since at least 2000:

Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kdarling Avatar
145 months ago
I don't mean that Apple should control the term but has it been established who first used the term.

Come on, we only need to look back 5 years to get this information. How hard could it be.

We need to look back at least fifty years, not five.

Back in 1960 there were groups and books dedicated to Computer Applications, (http://www.amazon.com/Computer-Applications-1960-Proceedings-Symposium/dp/B0006DIAFS/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310007027&sr=1-2) and I'm pretty sure the use of the word with computers dates back at least another ten years to the early 1950s.

As for "app", my resume stated Embedded Application Programmer back in the early 1980s, and we used "embedded app" all the time. I guarantee you that "app" dates back as long as "application" does.

I've also already posted articles from 2000 and 2001 where Windows Mobile and Palm writers talked about "apps" for their devices.

The upshot is: neither "application" nor "app" is a new term.

NOBODY in the ENTIRE TECH WORLD ever used the term "app" or "app store" until Apple coined these phrase, and Apple trademarked it as well!

You've obviously missed all the months of discussion about this topic. For one thing, the very similar word "Appstore" was trademarked years before Apple did, by another company who later gave it up. So it's not a totally new idea.

All these other wannabe companies, like Amazon, are all trying to hitch a free ride on Apple's coattails, when Apple did all the hard work of blazing this trail for them and trademarking this term for themselves!

All the above said, I do agree that Apple was the first to widely use the slang term "app store" instead of "application store". Not sure that merits a trademark, though.

If you don't believe that Apple can trademark "App Store" and keep it for their own use (and they sure as hell should be able to do both), then how in the world can Microsoft get away with trademarking the COMPLETELY GENERIC TERM "Windows"?

"Windows" does not generically refer to an operating system. "App store" generically refers to an application store. Even Apple's top brass used "app store" generically in reference to their competitor's markets.

it would be like someone trying to come out with their own "iTunes Store". It's totally ridiculous, and Apple will ultimately win this trial.

It's not like that at all. "iTunes" is a made up word and clearly belongs to Apple. "App" is a slang word that's been in use by developers for decades.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RobertMartens Avatar
145 months ago

NOBODY in the ENTIRE TECH WORLD ever used the term "app" or "app store" until Apple coined these phrase, and Apple trademarked it as well!

We are going to need a citation please.

Your post started off strong but I'm afraid the Windows rant made you come off a bit psychotic. Just trying give you some friendly advice.:)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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