updated 01:20 pm EDT, Thu June 23, 2011
Demands small firm hand over web domain
Apple is targeting multiple organizations in its bid to claim the "app store" trademark, reports say. In addition to pursuing Amahi, the company has turned its attention to The PC App Store, which describes itself as "an information source about software applications to make your PC do the things that you want it to do." Apple is demanding not only a halt on the use of the words "app store," but also that the pcappstore.com domain be handed over.
The site's owner says he has had the domain since November 2008. The date is a few months after the July 2008 introduction of the iOS App Store, but well before the launch of the Mac App Store in January 2011, with which the PC App Store might be more readily confused. Apple applied for its trademark at the same time as it launched the original App Store, but has not won the claim and is being opposed by Microsoft, which notes that the term "app store" can be generic and has in fact been used that way by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Outfits like Amahi and PC App Store pose little real threat to Apple. Instead they are likely being used as a legal weapon, a way of proving that Apple is actively defending its intellectual property. Without such actions the company would be on weaker ground come time for a trademark ruling.