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Apple rejects Amazon's claims 'app store' is generic

updated 11:00 am EDT, Fri May 20, 2011

Apple denies Amazon claims to generic app stores

Apple in a court filing late Thursday rebuffed Amazon's response that the term "app store" was generic. It insisted that the term isn't commonly used by other companies for their portals and couldn't be considered generic. Amazon was allegedly treading on Apple's mark by using the Appstore name as a result.

The iPhone maker had sued Amazon in March claiming that its "app store" trademark was valid and commonly associated with the iOS App Store and, more recently, the Mac App Store. At one point, it has argued that the term was a deliberate play on the company name.

Along with support from others, Microsoft has been regularly challenging the trademark and has often given answers to many of Apple's claims. The Windows developer has contended that developers are only avoiding the "app store" name to avoid litigation. Court submissions have noted that many now use the term generically and has even caught Apple CEO Steve Jobs referring to "app stores" in the generic sense.

Amazon's Appstore, whatever its name, is increasingly seen as instrumental to its strategy. Currently dependent on other devices, it's widely believed to be working on its Coyote and Hollywood tablets and would likely want a strong, self-contained app ecosystem instead of leaning on Android Market.

by MacNN Staff



  1. drumrobot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I know I'm an Apple fanboy...

    ...but I do honestly think that they have a point. Before the iOS (or iPhone OS, as it was known) App Store was introduced, no one regularly used the phrase 'app store' or even 'application store'. Even the word 'app' was made popular by iOS devices... Apple might not have invented it, but it's associated with them (and their devices).
    Even calling the App Store equivalent something like 'App World' (BlackBerry/RIM) is fine (even though it's obviously influenced by the App Store), but the specific phrase 'App Store' really does 'belong' to Apple.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Joined: Dec 1969


    True dat.

    No one had any problem with Microsoft trademarking the term "Windows."

  1. Grendelmon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm confused

    App Store isn't a trademark, it's a service mark (even according to Apple' legal website). So does that mean that either 1) the registration is still pending, or 2) it has been registered and they choose to use the serivce mark (instead of registered mark) ?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: True dat

    What are you talking about. A LOT of people had a problem with Microsoft trademarking the term windows. Which is why they filed lawsuits on the matter.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The facts are with Amazon

    Like it or not English is a living language, and the facts show that people talk about app stores. They talk about RIM's app store. Amazon's app store, Window's has an app store called Windows Marketplace.

    Nobody is sitting there confused.

    Let me spell it out for you. The Toyota Prius is a hybrid car - by far the best selling hybrid car - bar none. GM has an idea for a hybrid car - that runs mostly on electricity but has a gas engine to extend the range, its called the Chevy Volt.

    If I were to say to you, do you know GM just released a new Prius - it's called the Chevy Volt, I really like the way they designed their Prius. You'd be like WTF are you talking about dude??? You can't use the word 'prius' to mean 'hybrid car'. Prius is a trademark. It belongs to toyota.

    App store is not like that - it's a generic term. You all are apple fans, and you want to support Apple - but your very ability to understand English is at question here.

    Apple doesn't have a case, and they have no chance of winning their case. And you all can support them if you want to look stupid...but thats about it, your opinion will change nothing, because the term is generic.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Amazon book store and Amazon app store

    Shoe store
    Auto Parts store
    Book store
    General store
    App store

    stop me when something rings that bell in your noggin.

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