Apple Denied Amazon ‘Appstore’ Injunction

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An American Judge has refused Apple an injunction against Amazon over the its ‘App Store’ trademark

Apple has been rebuffed in its efforts to secure an injunction preventing Amazon from using the term ‘Appstore’ to describe its digital downloads storefront.

Apple claims it holds trademark rights over the term – even though its own digital storefront is called the ‘App Store’ (two words). However, a judge in California denied Apple its requested preliminary injunction because it had not established the likelihood of confusion between the two brands.

In an 18-page verdict, Judge Phyliss Hamilton said: “Apple has not established that its “App Store” mark is famous, in the sense of being “prominent” and “renowned”.

eWEEK Europe UK contacted Apple for comment but none was available at the time of writing.

Apple initiated legal action back in March after Amazon launched the Amazon Appstore selling mobile apps to Android users.

Suit and countersuit

The original lawsuit stated: “Amazon has begun improperly using Apple’s App Store mark in connection with Amazon’s mobile software developer program.

“Consumers of mobile software downloads are likely to be confused as to whether Amazon’s mobile software download service is sponsored or approved by Apple.”

This provoked Amazon to launch a countersuit, arguing the case be dismissed on the grounds that ‘App Store’ is a generic term, which Apple denied.

Mounting opposition

Apple originally bought the trademark ‘App Store’ in the US in 2008, but has since been opposed by Microsoft, with the help of linguists, again on grounds it is a generic term.

Apple’s App Store trademarking has also run into opposition in Europe. In May, Microsoft, Amazon, Sony HTC and Nokia all applied to have Apple’s European trademarks, ‘App Store’ and ‘Appstore’ invalidated.

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