Apple has been at loggerheads with Amazon over the term ‘Appstore’ for some time. Apple is adamant that the term ‘Appstore’ is not generic and that Amazon therefore has no right to use it to identify its, well, its Appstore.
Apple claimed that Amazon’s Appstore was likely to “confuse and mislead customers” and asked the courts to grant an injunction back in March. Amazon, for the record, immediately counter-sued, claiming the term ‘Appstore’ was indeed generic.
District judge Phyllis Hamilton, however, came down firmly on the side of Amazon – for the time being at least – saying that Apple hadn’t proved that consumers would be confused by Amazon’s decision to call its app store, an ‘Appstore’.
Judge Hamilton also decreed that, “There is also evidence that the term ‘app store’ is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices.”
The case is scheduled to be heard in October 2012, but until then both parties’ stores will remain open as is.
Litigious as the Americans seem to be, we dare say that if this was a UK case it would probably have been thrown out by now. The UK courts take a dim view of time-wasting and this is, we dare say, a monumental waste of everyone’s time, not to mention vast sums of money. Still, if it keeps a few struggling lawyers in brandy, who are we to argue. Regardless, we’d bet the farm on Amazon coming out on top in this one.
And what seems to have escaped both parties is that it should actually be ‘App Store’ but we’re guessing that won’t feature in the final reckoning…