updated 09:35 pm EDT, Mon March 21, 2011
Apple lawsuit hits Amazon over App Store name
A court revealed on Monday that Apple had sued Amazon for allegedly infringing on a trademark with the Amazon Appstore. The iPhone maker claimed that the start of developer support for the Android shop was a misuse of the App Store name. Apple said it had asked Amazon three times to stop using the name without a "substantive response" before turning to the lawsuit.
"We've asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers," spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said.
The lawsuit, filed on Friday, was made public just a day before Amazon's store was to go live and came even as the trademark was under dispute. Although approved by the USPTO, the "App Store" trademark has been challenged by Microsoft for being too generic as a reference to any application shop. Apple has countered that the concept of an app store has become synonymous with the company and that the name was even meant to recall Apple's name.
Most have noted the conspicuous similarity in the naming scheme to Apple's, although the concept of an app store has been used generically by many. Most phone and OS makers, however, have conspicuously avoided any direct similarity even before the trademark was approved to avoid confusion or a legal reaction.