Apple and Amazon Ordered to Enter Settlement Talks Over 'App Store' Trademark Issue
Earlier this month, a court threw out Apple's false advertising claim against Amazon in the dispute over the "App Store" trademark, leaving unaddressed the question of trademark infringement. The two companies have been battling over the issue for nearly two years, with Apple claiming that Amazon's use of the "Appstore" name to describe its marketplace for Android apps infringes upon Apple's App Store name and causes confusion with consumers.
Bloomberg now reports that the two sides have been order to enter settlement talks over the alleged infringement in an attempt to resolve the dispute before it heads to trial later this year.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte in San Francisco directed the companies to confer on March 21 and to bring their lead attorneys and people who have full authority to negotiate and settle the case, according to a court filing today. A trial is scheduled for August.
Apple is seeking a court order to block Amazon from using the term Appstore in its service to sell software for devices running Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Apple alleges the online retailer infringes its trademark and violates unfair competition laws.
Amazon has argued that the term "app store" is a generic one and that Apple should not have been preliminarily awarded a trademark on the name back in 2010. Apple originally filed for the trademark in 2008, but once the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office tentatively approved the application and published it for opposition in early 2010, Microsoft filed an objection, also arguing that the term was generic.
The trademark approval has remained in limbo, as Microsoft and Apple have agreed to postpone further debate in the process until the case between Apple and Amazon is resolved.