updated 07:10 pm EDT, Wed June 22, 2011
Apple may face battle in Amazon Appstore case
Judge Phyllis Hamilton at a Wednesday court hearing cast doubt on Apple's ability to win its lawsuit against Amazon over the Amazon Appstore name. She believed Apple faced a "stumbling block" in proving its case. The iPhone designer had trouble showing proof users would be confused between the iOS App Store and Amazon's Android store, Judge Hamilton said, although it was still early.
Amazon's defense in the case has depended on its claims "app store" is generic. The early online store operator has argued that the phrase is a simple descriptor and was in use before Apple's App Store came to be. Companies were only avoiding the name to avoid lawsuits, Amazon said, and even Steve Jobs had used the term generically.
In response, Apple has rebuffed Amazon's position and gone so far as to suggest App Store is a take on its own name. It has also used the dearth of other companies using "app store" as proof, although it hasn't had an answer to Amazon's mentions of trying to avoid legal issues.
The court warning came just as Apple was demanding a name change from open-source outfit Amahi. Its accusation indirectly supported Amazon since Amahi was changing its name only because it couldn't afford a defense like Amazon or other majors.