Most of you are probably aware of Apple’s trademark lawsuit against Amazon. But if not, it’s easy to catch up. The online retailer opened up a new app market earlier this year, entitled the Amazon Appstore for Android. Apple’s legal team quickly filed a motion with the courts to ban the retailer from using their trademark.
Apple coined the term back in 2008 when they launched their infamous App Store, and they don’t want customers confusing it with a 2nd rate offering. It looks like Apple is going to have to do better than that, as Bloomberg is reporting that the judge has stated that she will “probably” deny Apple’s motion…
U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton said that after the hearing yesterday, Apple’s difficulty demonstrating real evidence of actual confusion is a stumbling block for the company. Apparently, she’s not buying a word of Apple’s latest filing:
“Like honeybaked ham, a product made by a Michigan company, App Store has come to be identified by consumers as an Apple service selling downloadable programs for the iPhone and other company devices. Apple has spent hundreds of millions of dollars advertising the service since it was launched in 2008 and will suffer irreparable damage by associations with Amazon’s Appstore service, which provides fewer safeguards against viruses and data security issues.”
Amazon has maintained that the words “App Store” are too generic for Apple to have exclusive rights. The web’s largest online retailer is seeking dismissal of the lawsuit, as well as a court order allowing them to use the term to sell Android apps.
The judge’s decision in this case could have dozens of ripple effects, as companies like RIM and Google have intentionally avoided the use of the term “App Store” in fear of legal consequences. I would also expect Microsoft to say something, seeing as they’ve opposed Apple’s exclusive rights to the moniker from the very beginning.
What do you think?