Apple Claims App Store Doesn’t Mean a Store for Apps


When I say the words “app” and “store” together, what is the first thing that comes to mind? If you said a store in which one buys apps, you’re wrong according to Apple. In a recent response to an Amazon counterclaim that Apple has no right to sue over their use of the term “app store” to describe the online retailer’s Android applications portal, Apple asserted that the combination of words doesn’t, in fact, “denote a store for apps.” Commence head scratching.

The lawsuit, and the claim that Apple has made, boils down to an issue of common meaning. Amazon is sticking to their guns, saying that Apple’s “app store” trademark can’t be enforced because the term is too generic and already accepted to commonly mean a digital marketplace for apps. The burden is on Apple to prove that no such common meaning exists.

We tend to side with Amazon on this one, and not just for the Android vs. Apple storyline involved here. “App store” is a phrase plastered nearly everywhere, a commonly accepted term. Apple has no one to blame but themselves for that. Of course, if Apple can prove that they are the driving force behind the term’s popularity maybe they have a case. I’m no lawyer or legal expert, though. We’ll leave this decision up to the courts.

[via AndroidPolice]

Kevin Krause
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  1.  Really Apple? I want to see data from Apple’s customer support of all their claims of customers not being able to find the place to download apps on their iOS devices because they didn’t know that the “App Store” was the place they could buy apps.

    1. Tell me of the first time you heard ‘app store’. Serious, non sarcastic, purely curious question. 

      1. Years before the iPhone was out, years. If Apple can get a patent on the App Store then Ford needs to patent 4 wheeled vehicles. 

        1. when? Apple made the term “app store” what it is. i do not agree that they can patent that name. people have been talking about “killer apps” for years, and “apps” is just short for application. the name “app store” didn’t come out until Apple used it. Top Gear (great show) is right. Apple made that term what it is. but they still shouldn’t be able patent it. 

          1. Heard and made aren’t the same thing and Apple wants to claim that it made it. I do use Apple products and I watch the keynotes and all Amazon has to do is replay the one when where he says Android has an App Store and Amazon wins. Now as for who made the term popular, that was definitely Apple.

          2. Yeah, this seems to be something that Apple just doesn’t get.  In America you have to be the first to invent/use something to get exclusive rights to it. Apple seems to think that they should get exclusive rights to any technology or phrase that they made popular, even if they were not the first to use it (or maybe they just think they invented everything).

          3. Acey, you’re spot on. I really think they believe they invented everything. LCDs surrounded by a black bezel? Check. The term “app”? Check. They should sue everyone using the “i”whatever too. After all, I though Apple made the iCheeseGrater 

          4. First, second or hundredth, doesn’t matter. Do a search for app store and look at how many companies use the term. Apple going to sue them too? 

        2. That may be the only way ford can beat chevy LOL 

          1. hahahaaaaa hey stupid whos the one company that needed the govt to buy them out…..wait for it…..CHEVY A$$WIPE NOT FORD 

          2.  Who already paid the gov. back and is making more money?……Chevy…..weird.

          3. @ No One (For some reason I can’t actually send a reply to you for some reason)
            Actually Ford is making more, GM sold off Delphi and are claiming that as income.

      2. It doesn’t help any that Steveo said that Android has an “App Store”. 

      3. good point. but…seriously. you cant patent words fella.  

        again…good point tho.

        1. This isn’t a patent issue, it’s a trademark dispute.  Trademarks protect a “word, phrase, symbol or design” while a copyright protects original artistic or literary works and a patent protects an invention.

      4. “app stores” have been around since the 90’s when people were buying mobile apps for their palm and windows CE devices.

        there are many things apple tries to take credit for when all they did was copy the idea from somebody else.  take for example

        – the “iphone” Netgear made the first iphone in 2005 but apple took them to court claiming people would confuse it with the ipod.

        – Compaq made the iPaq in 1999, then apple stole the “i” “P” and claimed it as their own.

        – Samsung released their F-700 in Feb 07′ then apple releases the iphone in Jun 07′ but apple claims Samsung copied their iphone.

        – apple cries about people copying the ipad but they copied that from Microsoft.

        1. don’t forget the P.A.D.D. once you see that you will know the ipad did not spring forth from steve jobs mind as a completely unprecedented revolutionary idea. i’ve been wanting a tablet like that since i was like 10…and I’m in my 30s now. the ipad2 is nice but i’m still waiting for the right 10″ with honeycomb. make it so, htc!

  2. Apple already screwed themselves on this one when Steve Jobs began talking about Androids “App Stores”

  3. Yeah, I was using an “app store”  for Win Mo 6.1.  In fact, sites like Pocket Gear were referred to as App Stores back in the day ( like 2004 ) 

    1. Yeah Apple doesn’t understand the difference between making something popular and coming up with it themselves.  They keep acting like they invented the touch screen, music phone, and now the app store… but they didnt.  touch screens have been around forever and my old sony had a 4gb built hard drive, color touch screen, music library and had apps I could download onto my phone… then all came out before the iphone.  

      The thing is no one bought that phone… Iphone didnt invent anything they just made a iphone that worked really well and everyone bought.


  4.  “Of course, if Apple can prove that they are the driving force behind the term’s popularity maybe they have a case.”

    Let’s be honest……..when you think of App Store and throughout mankind history, what company do we think of?

    Let’s stop being Fandroids and be honest.

    1.  Be honest? This is a legal battle. Honesty has little to nothing to do with it.

      1.  AND THANK U!

    2. Of course they made it big. That isn’t the argument, it is more like   when you think of App Store, what do you think, a store that sells shoes, a store that sells apps. or a store that makes people dance in circles? lol “app store” is associated with a store that sells apps, and it is to vague to say it can belong to someone. Also it sells apps! not anything else :)

    3. I don’t think of anyone. I have had an “app store” on my Linux computers for years now. 

      Lets stop being an iFool and be honest. The term app store is far to general to trademark and this ridiculous claim by Apple that an app store doesn’t mean a store for apps proves it. The APPLE App Store would be a different story.

      1. Apple already have the Mac App store wich sell mac software (or “apps”)  and the iOS App Store (also refered to as iTunes App Store on their website)

        Obviously they themselve deemed the term generic enough to use on more than one store.

    4. When I think grocery store I think Ralphs. Does this mean Ralphs has the right to the phrase grocery store?

    5. When I hear appstore I think of Amazon. I visit Amazon’s Appstore. I’ve never owned anything Apple, and have never been to the magical appstore. So ask 1000 people probably get 1000 different answers.

    6.  i stop being dumb,if your serious.

  5.  Wow! That’s just more inanity brought to you by the same company that:

    (Malware? What malware? We’re Apple, we don’t know anything about it.)

    1. Nice, stay classy Apple. 

    2.  No, I’m gonna have to stop you right there. I used to do tech support for a major PC manufacturer (think cowbox) and no warranty covers support for a virus/malware/spyware. This is 3rd party software, not designed by the company. So, it’s the same as calling your cell phone company and asking them to replace your phone because you installed a virus from the market. The company’s agents have not had any training on the software or how to remove it and it’s not really the company’s responsibility that YOU opened the wrong email or clicked the wrong link. This document is a little extreme, like not providing any suggestions. It’s not that hard to say “Try downloading McAfee from” But that’s Apple for you, of course.

  6. Appstore = Apple’s place on your phone where applications are not availabe store.

    1.  lol!!

  7.  What else would you call a store that sells apps? That’s the real question. It’s a silly lawsuit from a silly company. It’s as bad as Facebook suing websites over using book in their URL.

    1. Market? 

  8. I wonder what the words “Liquer Store” and “SuperMarket” mean for Apple???

    1. OBVIOUSLY a liquor store is a place for a woman to go and receive oral pleasure, and supermarket it where Superman lives…. do people seriously not know this?!?! :-D 

      1.  LMAO!!

        “liquor license”

        Line from one of my favorite movies of all time.

  9. Next week: Apple sues non-iOS developers for calling their applications “apps”

    1.  Ha apple is starting to lose it I mean come on just because the iphone is losing ground on the android phones with better specs you can’t go suing over every little thing. Oh wait this is america people have been doing this for years. smh

    2. hilarious. seriously lol’d on this one.  

  10. Whats next? Apple will start suing fruit vendors for having the word “apple” on thier signs?

  11. someone posted a comment on an earlier article about this and totally called it.

  12.  HOLY SHIT, those lawyers representing apple must be making a FORTUNE off their stupidity and ignorance. It’s fucking hilarious how fast David brought down Goliath(android vs apple). Poor apple, soon they’re going to start suing supermarkets for selling apples(the fruit) just cause of the name.  They should have never sold Steve Jobs that liver, LOL.

  13. I wonder what I can buy at the “Grocery Store”?  According to apple, I shouldn’t expect to find Grocery items there.  Hmmm, when I search for a store called “Grocery Store”, I can’t find one.  Guess I’ll go hungry tonight, because I really wanted to buy my groceries from a store called “Grocery Store”.

  14. WTF…then what is “APP” store short for? Apple Store?? this is as stupid as shorting moles to mol….

    1. lol you beat me to that comment, but yes I think Apple associates APP with APPLE, go figure. Theyre grasping at straws now, they just lost the market share to Android, and according to all statistics the Android market will pass Apples in June or July in number of a available apps. And lets not even get started on tablets, which android is quickly owning. I still find it funny that the same people defending why the ipad is a better choice because of price are the same ones that buy a new iphone every year at $400, even though its essentially the same piece of crappy hardware that the original iphone was. 

      1.  apple flavored kool-aid crap

  15. Really? Two or 3 years ago most people gave me confused looks and questions on what the apple when I said I was going to go to the apple store.

  16.  “Apple asserted that the combination of words doesn’t, in fact, ‘denote a store for apps.’ ”
    Therefore, there most be “App Stores” that don’t sell apps? Show me one.

  17.  Is there an App for this?

  18. More than walls are sold in the market known as Wal-Mart. I don’t go to Dollar General to buy dollars (I go to my financial broker). AppStore is a name, and when I hear it, I think Apple.

    1. You’re arguments are silly.  Wal is short for Walton, not wall.  When I hear the term grocery store I think of Safeway.  That doesn’t mean Safeway has the right to trademark grocery store.  It’s a frivolous lawsuit plain and simple. 

      1. he cant spell wall 

    2. No one is arguing the fact that they made the term popular.  It’s still a generic term that means “a store that sells apps” no matter how much Apple is trying to convince anyone of the contrary. Even Jobs is calling the mutliple Android software outlets app stores.

      1. When I use Mac OS, I open windows.  Clearly this means that Microsoft has no right to the copyright for “Windows”.

        1. They can’t prevent anyone from calling a rectangular box  inside a software a window, that’s right.  Their trademark is on the O/S.  If Apple started to call their O/S Windows instead of Mac OS, then it would be infrigement.

          1. Exactly!

            By the identical logic, you can have an online store that sells apps, but you can’t call it an app store because Apple owns the copyright for the name “App Store”.  Thank you for demonstrating my point so eloquently.

          2. Actually, your logic is deeply flawed.  Calling your application store “app store” is not the same as naming a product after one of it’s desing element.  The term “app store” is in use by hundreds of app stores out there and is as generic as “grocery store” or “shoe store”.  By your logic, if I came out and opened a shop called “Shoe store”, then “Joe’s shoe store” would not be allowed to be named that way afterward.  Apple can very damn well trademark the termn “iTunes App Store” as referred on many sites, but the term “app store” is too generic to be copyrightable.

    3.  Shoe store, book store, home and garden store, pet store. appliance store, music store (once upon a time).  Plu-u-u-zeee.  Talk about grasping at stores…er straws.

    4.  and you are a moron

      1. When confronted with the truth, the Phandroid inevitably resorts to name calling…

    5.  next time make a logical reference

  19. There is a reason why Google named their “app store” the Market, because Google knew better.

    1. Maybe they didn’t want to get into the hassle of a fight with Apple, but I think they mostly wanted do differentiate themselves from their offering. Tha doesn’t mean Apple is right though.

      1. An App store is ONE store for apps. Whereas a market place has a big variety of vendors to chose from … Apple vs Andoid philosophy.

  20. I really hope that Apple loses this and Amazon coutersues them for legal damages.  I love to see Apple piss away money for nothing!

  21. food store – place where you can buy food
    app store – palace where you can buy app
    6 yrs old

  22. I think apple owns the trademark for bible too.  

    1.  and the composition of air. AiR that is. stop breathing it heathen!
      They are nuts

    2. who would name a company apple anyway.i like lemon better. 

      1.  Combustible Lemons

  23. Sorry Apple. The acronym “App” has been around long before your iPhone was even in its concept stages. It stands for “Application” NOT “Apple”…

    1. The term “App Store” did not become widely used until Apple coined the phrase.  Apple owns the copyright.  The copyright office is unequivocal that the term “App Store” belongs to Apple.  Get over it.

      Just because Android is “open”, doesn’t give Google, Amazon or anyone else the right to violate copyright law.

      BTW, you misused the word acronym.  Look it up.

  24. Apple be damned! 

  25. Who gives a f##k!! Can we please have more articles on the latest android tech rather than constant flamewar shite between apple and android!!!!! Only 12 yr olds with f#@k all else to do care about this stuff. For phandroid read shitty flamedroid! Wtf.. next article… android sells x more than windows 7 and iphone 5… same shite every f##cking day


    It’s nothing new for Apple…

    1. Apple logo looks like the swingers logo… wait, apple is for general public audiences, right?  hmmmm  

  27. Black is white and white is black again in App-world… -_- When will the iMorons (especially in the US) finally have enough of all their utter bullshit?… 

  28. You’re reading it wrong


  29.  I’m no trademark lawyer, but I do work in IP.
    I think it all depends on the date of commercial use of the word “app” with the word “store”. Before that point, people bought apps from individual developers. I suppose in the same way before grocery retailers, we bought food from individual farmers. What we need to remember here is what it was like before the internet. People walked into computer stores to buy software floppy disks in boxes. Would it be an obvious jump to replace “saftware” with “application” and therefore “app”? I think it’s obvious enough.

  30.  Mayn, you know Apple is being ridiculous when not even iQueen is coming to defend them.

  31.  Well, I guess they will soon sue for using the term “PHONE” but then they really won’t mean phone now will they?  Of course S. Jobs will tell you how they invented it and of course that they really didn’t mean Invent, but create, or whatever, lmao… 

    Apple sux!

  32.  I thought it was called iTunes, not “app store”. I thought iTunes was an app store. So take that Apple!! iTunes has an app store. Amazon has an app store. Google Market has an App Store. So take that!! Finished. This case is closed. LoL!!

    I’m sorry, but app store is a noun and not a proper noun, so getcho face apple!! LoL!!

  33. i’d like to sue apple for their dumba$$ commercial tellin me i dont have an iphone therefore i cannot have any of the apps i do on my phone its offensive and defamation of character i think google and all of us should sue them for emotional damages all their stupid ideas impose upon us 

  34.  Apple>Android

  35. Maybe Apple is right, app stands for Apple (?), Amazon should rename it Application Store, but that’s too long… ApplStore yes, this should work!!!

    1. LMAO. That would drive Steve Jobs off the deep end.

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