New MacBook Pros are here! Get the lowest prices anywhere: Apple Price Guides updated Aug 21st (exclusive coupons)
 


Friday, May 20, 2011, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple fires back at Amazon in continuing 'App Store' name dispute

Apple has responded to Amazon in court, as the company continues to defend its trademark of the words "App Store," and hopes to have a court prevent Amazon from using the name "appstore" for its Android application storefront.

Apple filed a new statement in a federal Court in Oakland, Calif., in which it denied Amazon's claim that the term "App Store" is generic, according to Bloomberg. Apple has filed a trademark infringement suit against Amazon for its Appstore for Android.

"Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words 'app store' together denote a store for apps," Apple's filing reads. It also argues that the term isn't commonly used by businesses to describe download services, and asserts that the term "app store" is not generic.

Apple filed its original suit against Amazon in March, a day before the online retailer's Amazon Appstore launched. In April, Amazon responded, and argued that the term "app store" is generic, and should be free for anyone to use. The latest filing by Apple served as an attempt to refute Amazon's claims.

The back-and-forth situation is playing out similar to Apple's dispute with Microsoft, though no lawsuit has been filed between those two companies. Instead, in January, Microsoft filed an objection to Apple's "App Store" trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Like Amazon, Microsoft believes that the term "app store" is too generic to be fairly registered with the USPTO. Apple originally filed for the trademark shortly after the launch of the iPhone App Store in 2008, and U.S. law requires trademark owners to aggressively defend their marks, or risk losing them.

Amazon Appstore


Microsoft even cited Amazon's Appstore for Android in a later complaint. It argued that Amazon's digital storefront served as proof of a "competitive need" for generic use of the term.

For its part, Apple fired back at Microsoft in legal filings, and argued that the term "App Store" is no more generic than Microsoft's ownership of the name "Windows." The iPhone maker noted that Microsoft has "faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed WINDOWS mark" that should make the Redmond, Wash., software giant "well aware" that genericness is based on how a term applies to "a substantial majority of the relevant public."

"Yet Microsoft, missing the forest for the trees, does not base its motion on a comprehensive evaluation of how the relevant public understands the term APP STORE as a whole," Apple's filing reads.