How About We Call It APP Store, as in "Amazon Portable Program Store"

Published on March 21, 2011
by John Paczkowski

Apple is giving Amazon a bit of unwanted advance publicity ahead of the launch of the retailer’s new Android Appstore. Claiming trademark infringement and unfair competition, it’s suing Amazon over the “App Store” trademark.

In a complaint filed last week in California, Apple accused Amazon of improperly using its App Store mark to promote its “Appstore” mobile software developer program and the associated download service it plans to launch tomorrow. “Consumers of mobile software downloads are likely to be confused as to whether Amazon’s mobile software download service is sponsored or approved by Apple,” Apple argued in the suit.

“We’ve asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers,” Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet told me. But Amazon has ignored the company’s appeals. According to the lawsuit, Apple contacted the retailer three times to demand it stop using the mark, with no success. Evidently, Amazon has cast its lot with Microsoft which has challenged Apple’s application for the trademark arguing “app store” is too generic a term and would prevent competitors from using it to describe their own products. And that does seem a reasonable argument; “app store” isn’t a particularly innovative turn of phrase. But as this Google Trend line shows, the phrase didn’t enter the vernacular until 2008, right around the time Apple began popularizing it…

(Thanks for the headline, Joseph)

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