One Lawsuit Apple Might Not Win: Amazon’s Use of the Term Appstore


With all these lawsuits Apple’s been throwing around lately, you had to expect them to get shot down on at least one of them. The one battle they probably won’t win is their claim that Amazon’s Appstore is named too similarly to Apple’s App Store. To be fair, they are extremely similar. But Apple’s claim that users will get confused is ludicrous.

Apple makes it clear where users can find their App Store and their users know that those apps are only for iOS devices. Amazon does the same for Android. The big guys in Cupertino say their whole reason for trying to take control over the term is because they don’t want their image tainted by Amazon, citing irreparable harm.

This is likely far from the truth as far as reasoning goes. Apple is also trying to sue a small open source project, Amahi, for its use of the term app store. Considering Amahi, a desktop PC media center client, has nothing to do with phones, Apple is really reaching for straws there. Due to a lack of resources, however, they have decided not to fight Apple in court and instead are challenging their users to rename their app store.

Sure, they were the first to coin the phrase but it has since become such a common description for such a marketplace that folks will want to use it one way or another. They’ll have to deal with any “damage” caused at this point because they don’t have full control over any variations of the phrase. If Amazon were to put a space between “App” and “Store”, Apple would have a better shot.

The judge overseeing this matter, the honorable Phyllis Hamilton, says she probably won’t grant Apple the win in this case. She cites a lack of evidence on Apple’s behalf showing users getting their app store confused with Amazon’s, saying it’s troubling that Apple has come to court with nary a solid piece of evidence to back their claims up. Because of that, it’s where they’re “likely not to prevail at this early juncture.” [Bloomberg]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. I find it ridiculous that Apple says they call it an “app” store being short for Apple Store and not Application Store. I don’t get how a company can sue over a term so generic.

    1. I’m not siding with Apple on any measure here, but maybe they meant it as a double meaning …  APPle/APPlication ?

      Personally I think all these lawsuits are getting ridiculous.  Something needs to happen or things will get bogged down in bureaucracy worse than Planet Vogon 

      1. I completely agree with you, i just think that “app” store is extremely generic. A company like Apple should have no right to sue over something so simple.

        1. im glad too see we’re all getting tired of these damn lawsuits.
          I’m not the best with legal battles but isn’t there some situation you can countersue them after they’ve dragged your company through the mud with a lawsuit and got nowhere? kinda like a way to stop a company from “crying wolf”. 

      2. I don’t believe I would be able to find ANY ONE person to say that they thought apples term “APP” was short for apple. 

    2. Because sir it’s Apple and they’re batshit insane

  2. This morning I had cereal but I can’t remember if it was Amazon Jacks or Apple Jacks. You know how confusing those two words can be. 

  3. The bit about Apple suing Amahi is just ridiculous.  Now that Apple has grown to be a huge company, instead of putting more money towards forwarding technology, they elect to put a portion of it on oppressing small companies?

    It seems more and more like Apple’s “innovations” are more due to them keeping others from progressing so whatever they come up with looks better in comparison.

    1. Apple is the new Microsoft.

    2. It’s not that they want to pursue all these lawsuits, but that they HAVE to in order to maintain their trade- and servicemarks.

  4. Maybe Apple is afraid that their customers might wake up from their complacent slumber and start demanding the ability to download third party apps.  It would really mess with their totalitarian regime if the masses start demanding freedoms, like the Android users. Apple is just trying to look out for their customers by avoiding a mobile Tiananmen Square incident.  They, after all, do have the public’s best interests in mind…

  5. I like how they renamed their “App Store” to “Appl Store”. I wonder how Apple will feel about that one.

  6. Apple probably has a incentive policy to pay a employee a huge bonus if they find a company to sue for patent infringment.

  7. “One Lawsuit Apple Might Not Win Win”

    Quentyn. Seriously. Proofreading. Do it before the articles get tweeted.

  8. I am so sick of reading about appel and their ‘we invented this and we own that’ ridiculous lawsuits! F APPLE!!! !!!

    You know what Appel, you didn’t invent the touchscreen! you didn’t invent icons on desktops! and you didn’t invent the words app and store and certainly didn’t invent the word appstore which is just those two words without a fricken space!!! F U APPLE!

  9. Apple worries about Amazon taints their fucking image? Apple is rotten, why care about being tainted.

  10. Apple is just acting like Microsoft now since its near to a monopoly stage.
    It has been in similar lawsuits since decades… remember when The
    Beatles sued them more than once over the name ‘Apple’? This tech firm
    has stolen the name in the first place!

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