updated 03:20 pm EDT, Tue April 26, 2011
'App store' a generic term, Amazon observes
Amazon has filed a formal response to Apple's App Store lawsuit, reports say. The online retailer is requesting that a federal judge in San Francisco throw out the case, on the basis that the term "app store" is generic, and therefore not something Apple can claim as exclusive. Apple's own CEO, Steve Jobs, has undermined attempts to make the term proprietary, the filing points out.
Referenced in court documents (PDF) are comments Jobs made last fall during a quarterly results call. "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," the executive said. "This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple's integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone."
The tactic is similar to one used by Microsoft in an attempt to get Apple's App Store trademark application rejected. The company also coincidentally cited the Amazon Appstore as evidence of a widespread "competitive need" for the term "app store," remarking that there were 17 stores in all employing some variant. One defense tried by Apple is that the term is meant to recall the company's name.