Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Amazon Responds to Apple's Trademark Lawsuit Over 'App Store'

Just over a month ago, Apple filed a trademark lawsuit against Amazon over the company's use of the term "Appstore" for its own Android application marketplace. According to the suit, Apple is seeking an injunction to prevent Amazon from using the name, which Apple believes infringes upon its own "App Store" mark.

GeekWire reports that Amazon has now filed an official response (PDF) to Apple's suit, calling the claim baseless and asserting the generic nature of term.
The Seattle-based online retailer asked a federal judge in San Francisco to throw out Apple's trademark suit, calling the phrase "app store" generic and not something that Apple can claim for its exclusive use. Amazon's filing echoed Microsoft's arguments in a separate dispute at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office opposing Apple's attempt to register the trademark.
Using a similar tactic to that employed by Microsoft in its attempts to have Apple's "App Store" trademark application denied, Amazon has cited comments by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in which he refers to app stores in the generic sense rather than specifically in relation to Apple's marketplace.

Amazon has also filed a counterclaim seeking dismissal of Apple's suit, a declaratory judgment that use of the term "app store" does not infringe upon Apple's trademark rights, and reimbursement of attorney's fees and other costs.

Apple has asked that the courts address the trademark lawsuit on an accelerated timetable in order to head off the rapidly increasing number of entities using "App Store" and related terms, but the court has yet to issue a decision regarding that request.

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