Amazon requests dismissal of Apple 'app store' suit

Citing trade confusion, Apple demands Amazon use different name

Amazon is requesting a federal judge in Oakland, California to dismiss Apple's false advertising claim against the retailer challenging the use of the "app store" name. The claim followed the launch of the Kindle Fire tablet and associated store called the "Amazon Appstore" instead of a similar term such as "Amazon Appstore for Android." Apple claims that the change could contribute to consumer confusion.

Wednesday's filing with the US District Court said the term "app store" has become a generic term, such as "Kleenex" for facial tissue, that its use could not construe false advertising. Amazon contends that both Tim Cook and Steve Jobs used the term to discuss other ecosystems such as Amazon's and the Google Play store.

"Apple presumably does not contend that its past and current CEOs made false statements regarding to those other app stores to thousands of investors in earnings calls," an Amazon spokesperson said. "To the contrary, the use of the term 'app store' to refer to stores selling apps is commonplace in the industry."

Both Amazon and supporters like Microsoft have objected to Apple's App Store trademark on the grounds that the concept was too generic. Most have noted that they were avoiding "app store" partly to avoid legal trouble, not out of special regard for the name in question. Apple has always said that App Store was to some degree a play on its own name and only really entered into heavy use following the iPhone's original release in July 2008.

A hearing on this motion is scheduled for October 31. The trial before a jury is scheduled for August 19, 2013.

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