John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Amazon to Apple: "App Store" is Generic; Just Ask Your CEO

Amazon has finally filed an official response to Apple’s lawsuit accusing it of misusing its App Store mark to promote its Android Appstore, and some of the evidence on which it’s based comes from a pretty remarkable source.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

In a federal court filing late Monday, the retailer argued that the term “App Store” is generic and said it’s silly for Apple to claim otherwise when its own executives use it generically. Case in point: Steve Jobs’s comments during Apple’s Q4 earnings call last year.

In addition to Google’s own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android. 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’s App Store has over three times as many apps as Google’s marketplace and offers developers’ one-stop shopping to get their apps to market easily and to get paid swiftly.

That Jobs used “App Store” is this way is a pretty compelling argument for it being generic and undercuts Apple’s claims that Amazon’s use of it will confuse and mislead customers. That said, Apple did popularize the term and was first to request a trademark on it. That its CEO sometimes dilutes that mark during earnings calls may be beside the point.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald