Amazon says that the term ‘App Store’ is too generic to create confusion
Amazon has asked a US federal judge to throw out Apple’s false advertising claim in a lawsuit concerning the online retailer’s alleged infringement of the trademark ‘App Store’ in its Amazon Appstore.
The Amazon Appstore sells applications for Android devices, including the company’s own Kindle Fire range of tablets. However, Apple registered the “App Store” trademark in 2008 and has complained that not only is it false advertising, but that customers might become confused.
Appstore or App Store
In a new filing made to the US District Court in Oakland, California, Amazon claimed the term “App Store” is now so widely used that it could not constitute false advertising. Microsoft has previously challenged the trademark, arguing that it was too generic, as have Sony Ericsson, HTC and Nokia, who have all filed separate challenges with the European Union trademark agency,
In its filing, Amazon said Apple CEO Tim Cook and his late predecessor Steve Jobs even used the term to discuss rival services. Specific examples include Cook apparently saying “the number of app stores out there” and Jobs mentioning the “four app stores on Android.”
Apple first launched its lawsuit in March 2011 alleging the misuse of its trademark, but was denied an injunction against Amazon on the basis that the likelihood of confusion had not been established. The lawsuit was expanded in November, soon after the launch of the Kindle Fire in the US, when Amazon began to call its marketplace the ‘Amazon Appstore’ rather than the ‘Amazon Appstore for Android’.
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