updated 04:50 pm EDT, Wed June 22, 2011
May be trying to set precedent in battle with MS
Apple has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Amahi over the term "App Store," according to the latter party. The Amahi Home Server software allows a user to stream media across a network and/or share files remotely. One feature is its extensibility, made possible through downloadable add-ons. Although the words "App Store" only occasionally appear on the Amahi website, Apple lawyers argue that the term "is likely to confuse consumers into thinking that Amahi is offering Apple's App Store service to its customers, or is otherwise authorized by or associated with Apple, when of course it is not."
Amahi protests that it is a "small target," and not even involved in mobile development. It speculates that Apple is using Amahi to show evidence of defending a trademark claim, since its efforts to secure the "App Store" trademark are being opposed by Microsoft, which charges that the term is too generic to be owned by a single company, much in the same way that no one can claim "shoe store." Apple may stand a good chance of being defeated, given the existence of the Amazon Appstore, and statements by Apple CEO Steve Jobs using the term generically in association with competitors' offerings.
Amahi is currently running a contest to choose an alternative to its use of the name App Store. Two winners will be picked at random to win either a Plug Computer or a one-year Amahi Pro membership.