Apple Celebrates 5th App Store Anniversary By Dropping Amazon Lawsuit

Apple has dropped its lawsuit against Amazon which accused the Kindle manufacturer of copying its App Store by calling its own digital marketplace the ‘Amazon Appstore.’

Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the US District Court in the Northern District of California agreed to dismiss the case between the two companies on the fifth anniversary of the App Store’s launch.

While technology companies are no strangers to the courtroom, this case differed in that it was about a trademark rather than about patents. Apple wanted to trademark the ‘App Store’, while Amazon argued that the term was so widely used it could not be owned by one company.

App Store lawsuit

Apple filed for the trademark in 2008, shortly after the App Store first made available to iPhone users. It filed the complaint against Amazon in March 2011, accusing it of imitation and confusing consumers.

Even Microsoft became involved at point to argue that the term could not be trademarked. It employed a linguistic expert to claim that the compound noun was a generic characterisation that simply explained it was a store that sold apps. Unsurprisingly, Apple’s linguistic expert insisted that it was a proper noun and deserved to be trademarked.

However Apple now says that customers know where to find their favourite applications, something which is unsurprising given the App Store is the only marketplace for iOS users anyway.

In the five years it has been available, the App Store has grown from a catalogue of just 500 apps to more than 900,000, with Apple passing the 50 billion download milestone in May this year.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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