Apple in another conflict with Amazon over the term “App Store”
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 27, 2012.
Apple is again protecting itself by following up on a complaint dealing with Amazon’s use of the term “app store”. The conflict dates back to when Amazon launched an Android app market titled “Amazon Appstore for Android”. Apple immediately filed a complaint, claiming that the use of “Appstore” in the title interferes with a trademark on Apple’s “App Store” title. The conflict is still ongoing, as Amazon has recently asked a California court to dismiss the claim.
Amazon holds some persuading arguments as to why the use of “Appstore” is not false advertising, as Apple has claimed. First and foremost, the term “app store” has become an extremely generic term, to the point where a trademark just doesn’t make sense anymore. A more interesting point to note is that Apple CEOs Steve Jobs and Tim Cook have both referred to “other” app stores, hinting that the term “app store” does not specifically describe Apple’s App Store. Steve Jobs was quoted saying, “four app stores on Android”. Tim Cook was also referenced saying, “the number of app stores out there”.
I believe the term “app store” should be used as a general term and not solely for describing Apple’s App Store. No matter how much Apple wants to protect its “original” name for their app market, the market has grown to the point where the term has become too general to trademark.