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Porn store for Android targeted in Apple's 'App Store' trademark defense

Apple's defense of its "App Store" trademark filing has a new target: a storefront for pornography available on the Google Android platform.

The adult service "MiKandi" this month hit with a cease-and-desist letter from Apple over its use of the term "App Store," according to GeekWire. It's the second digital download service targeted by Apple in defense of its trademark application this month, the first being the Amazon Appstore for Android.

At the time the report was filed, MiKandi's official website pitched itself as "the world's first app store for adults." But the company has since changed all references to "app store" to read "app market" instead. The official "MiKandi App Store" name has also been changed to "MiKandi App Market" on the website.

Apple has strict control over the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and the official guidelines clearly state that pornography of any type is not permitted. Even the official Android Market from Google does not allow adult content, along with Amazon's newly launched third-party Appstore for Android, which opened Tuesday.

Apple first applied for the App Store trademark in 2008, though the application has been challenged by Microsoft. Apple believes the term "App Store" is associated by the general public with Apple products, while Microsoft has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny Apple ownership of the name on the grounds that "app store" is too generic.

MiKandi co-founder Jesse Adams told GeekWire that his company doesn't plan to take on Apple's legal department by itself, but it might throw its support behind Microsoft's efforts. But the changes subsequently made to the website, from "app store" to "app market," suggest the company doesn't plan to wait for a decision on Microsoft's appeal.

The adult storefront for Android was noted by Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs last April, though Jobs did not identify the service by name. At Apple's iOS 4.0 preview in April, Jobs cited a "porn store" on Android as reason why Apple doesn't allow software unsigned by Apple to run on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.

"You can download it, your kids can download it," Jobs said last year. "That's a place we don't want to go, so we're not going to."