Apple renews efforts to protect the App Store moniker

Apple first took Amazon to court over the App Store moniker in March of last year, just as the online retailer began using the ‘app store’ term in their developer portal.

Last November, Apple stepped up its fight as it saw Amazon promoting the Amazon Appstore for Android apps.

Today, we learn that Apple wants to summon an Amazon executive for court testimony over the decision to drop the words “for Android” from some of Amazon’s app store branding…

Jeff John Roberts, writing for Gigaom:

Amazon argues that the term “app store” is generic. Apple, on the other hand, says the removal of the “for Android” phrase is evidence the term is not generic and is now accusing Amazon of dragging its feet in producing evidence.

You may recall that Apple had attempted to file a trademark for the term “App Store” with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office in July of 2008. However, Microsoft stepped in, asking the patent office to refuse the application because the “app store” in Redmond’s view is too “generic a term“.

I know you feel disgusted with these legal matters as much as I am. To me, in this particular instance Apple is the good guy.

I think we can establish fairly safely that there was nothing like the term ‘app store’ in our vocabulary prior to the iPhone. Heck, we even referred to mobile programs as ‘applications’ rather than ‘apps’.

It is a fact that Apple first began using the “app store” term in July 2008, when its namesake mobile bazaar rolled out.

Apple’s been pouring in significant advertising dollars into popularizing the “app store” term and associating it with its brand.

Ultimately, the court will rule whether the term is too broad and generic. It just feels wrong to me that Apple’s rivals should be allowed to use the term Apple popularized and free-ride on someone else’s marketing.

And don’t tell me that Amazon couldn’t have come up with a better name than the Amazon Appstore. Google was clever enough to come up with a name of its own – the Play Store – so why didn’t Amazon? And why is Amazon insisting upon fighting Apple over such a mundane thing?

And while we’re at it, why is Apple so agitated about Amazon’s use of the term?

Could it perhaps be because Apple executives recently called Amazon’s Appstore a bigger threat than Google’s Play Store?

According to a Wall Street Journal report from today:

Apple is also paying close attention to Amazon’s app store, according to developers, who said Apple executives have told them they think Amazon’s controlled, iTunes-like approach makes it more competitive than other app stores, including one operated by Google Inc.

For comparison’s sake, Amazon’s store had 30,000 apps as of March 2012 versus the 650,000 apps in Apple’s App Store.

Perhaps Apple’s main concern is Amazon going after its customers with a bunch of new tablets and a digital media store which rivals iTunes?

What’s your take?