Apple are known to be heavy handed in the world of legal affairs and as many regular readers will already know, they are currently in battle with both Microsoft and Amazon over the ‘App Store’ name. Microsoft files a protest against Apple’s legal rights to have the ‘App Store’ name protected under trademark, under the grounds that it was too generic a term to belong to a single company.
Microsoft aren’t the only company to have an issue with this trademark, with Nokia, HTC and Sony Ericsson also filing complaints. The latest development in the case was that Amazon launched its own Android App Store in March called the ‘AppStore’. Apple weren’t happy with either ‘App Store’ or ‘AppStore’ (without a space) so they have filed a suit for trademark infringement.
Amazon have been fighting Apple on this now for a while and they claim that Steve Jobs himself, spoke of ‘App Stores’ in a generic sense during an earnings call a while ago:
“So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.”
Apple have filed a submission to the Federal Court in Oakland, California saying “Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words ‘app store’ together denote a store for apps.”
We aren’t sure how the case is going to end up, but with the might of Microsoft, Amazon, HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson questioning their legal rights, it may very well be a long fought out case.
KitGuru says: Should Apple have the right to protect the words as their own?