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Judge rejects Apple's request for preliminary injunction in App Store trademark case

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 07 Jul 2011 11:41 User comments (6)

Judge rejects Apple's request for preliminary injunction in App Store trademark case A federal judge in California has rejected a request by Apple to halt Amazon's use of the words "App Store." The injunction request is part of a lawsuit filed in March against the online retailer.
Apple does have a trademark on the term App Store, which is registered in many countries around the world, including the US. However, the validity of the mark is already under challenge from Microsoft on the grounds that, "app store" is generic for retail store services featuring apps and unregistrable for ancillary services such as searching for and downloading apps from such stores."

In defense of their App Store trademark, Apple argues that consumers associate the term App Store exclusively with their brand. They also claim the word "app" is not a generic term for an application. As proof of the second part, they point to the fact that the word doesn't appear in any standard dictionary.

That particular claim is laughable on its face. Search the internet for "Android" and you will find the term app used almost universally to describe programs for that OS - including in the title of the main Android Marketplace page.

Apple also claims the substantial amount of advertising they have done for the iTunes App Store prove that the term is identified exclusively with that service.

In her decision denying the preliminary injunction, Judge Phyllis Hamilton wrote, "Apple has not established likelihood of success as to the infringement claims. The court assumes without deciding that the “App Store” mark is protectable as a descriptive mark that has arguably acquired secondary meaning."

She also rejected Apple's second rationale for the injunction, that Amazon's use of the AppStore name results in dilution of their mark. She pointed out, The mark does appear to enjoy widespread recognition, but it is not clear from the evidence whether it is recognition as a trademark or recognition as a descriptive term. Moreover, there is no
evidence that Amazon intended to create an association between its Android apps and Apple’s apps, and there is no evidence of actual association."


Judge Hamilton added, "Apple speculates that Amazon’s App Store will allow inappropriate content, viruses, or malware to enter the market, but it is not clear how that will harm Apple’s reputation, since Amazon does not offer apps for Apple devices."

You can read the entire ruling below.

Judge rejects Apple requiest for injunction against Amazon.com for AppStore name -

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6 user comments

17.7.2011 13:08

I guess Apple haven't worked this out yet.

No one with and iphone tell people to goto an app store they always say goto itunes, as that what you have to use for everything to do anything with an iphone ipod etc.

Where as people with an Android phone will say "just goto the app store or app market" as that is what devs and people call it and you can use what ever you like to add remove files for an android phone.

27.7.2011 22:24

Its kind of hard to do a research now on what was on search engines a few years back since there are already many changes.

As for the thing about the dictionary, just because the word isnt in the dictionary yet doesnt mean that you can say you came up with it. Is the "f" word in the dictionary? The dictionary is just a guide and no 2 dictionaries have the exact same number of words.

When i think of the word 'app', i think of it as slang for application.

Also, just because you spent millions on advertising a word, doesnt mean that the word is yours.

37.7.2011 22:39

Good!



48.7.2011 1:03

App has been a shorthand for application for as long as I can remember (the 80s).

58.7.2011 5:12

Apple Corp are lying! The word "app" appears in at least two common, important dictionaries: The Oxford English Dictionary:

app, n. Computing colloq.
Brit. /æp/, U.S. /æp/
[Shortened ‹ application n.]
An application, esp. an application program (see application n. Compounds 2). Also freq. in killer app n. at killer n. Additions Cf. applications program n. at application n. Compounds 2b.

and the Encarta World English Dictionary:
app

app [ap] (plural apps) noun
COMPUTING application: an application (informal)

Encarta® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1999, 2000 MicrosoftCorporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft
by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

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