Ever since the creation of the Amazon App Store it has been expected that Apple and Amazon were going to be in a battle over the use of “App Store” in the name of Amazon’s new store on their site. This is especially true given the immediate success that Amazon realized as soon as they launched the new store. Apple filed their lawsuit against Amazon and there have been the expected requests from parties, but there is a surprise in a recent decision in the case. Apple did not get their way in trying to stop Amazon.
Apple had request an injunction against Amazon to stop them from using the name. In a surprise for Apple, the court denied their motion to stop Amazon from using “App Store” in association with their app store. This ruling will have an impact on the case that Apple has brought to court and weakens their position before the court. It seems that the value of Apple brands, such as iPhone, iPad and iPod, are highly recognizable the world over and are all directly associated with Apple. The “App Store” is not directly tied to Apple when the phrase is mentioned and as a result is really not a true trademark. Because of this, Apple is going to have a hard time winning their position in this case.
As with any lawsuit, this one has a long way to go and the use of the “App Store” is going to continue for Amazon for now and the longer they continue to use that name, the stronger their defense in this situation becomes. Apple is facing an uphill battle and even the words of Steve Jobs regarding the App Store are being used against them in this case. Some have said that the words “App Store” describe a store for apps and not an Apple specific store.
Microsoft’s Involvement Against Apple
Microsoft has been involved in this even before Amazon chose to use the generic term app store to describe their store. Microsoft objected to the use of “App Store” as a trademark at the time that Apple applied for the rights to use it and their legal battle has been going on longer than this more visible one between Amazon and Apple.
Since Apple just announced their downloads from their App Store is now over 15 billion, it is hard to understand their position that this hurts their brand. The use of the name by both companies does not seem to be doing any harm to each others selling efforts. This whole thing is going to continue for a while and it may be that the suits just go away and things continue the way that they are currently.