Amazon.com has asked a federal judge to throw out Apple’s suit, which alleges that Amazon is engaged in false advertising by using the term “app store” in its Android market. Apple says that the name Amazon AppStore for Android is too similar to its own store, called App Store, and that it somehow owns a trademark on the term “app store.”
“The use of the term 'app store' to refer to stores selling apps is commonplace in the industry,” Amazon noted again in a filing with the US District Court in Oakland, California, noting that even Apple executives have referred to competing online stores as app stores. “Apple presumably does not contend that its past and current CEOs made false statements regarding those other app stores to thousands of investors in earnings calls.”
Apple filed a trademark-infringement claim against Amazon last November, when the retailer launched its first Android-based tablet, the Kindle Fire. At the time, Apple complained that Amazon had begun referring to its online store, which had launched earlier, as “Amazon Appstore” instead of “Appstore for Android.”
Although I did find one Amazon press release that used the term “Amazon Appstore” in 2011, it’s unclear how this could be confusing to anyone. But the bigger issue is how Apple could possibly own a trademark on a common term like “app store,” especially since the term had been used for years before Apple even launched its own store.
Apple’s suit and trademark claim should both be thrown out.