On Wednesday, the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, requested the federal judge to throw out the case filed by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The Cupertino, California-based company filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) in March 2011, accusing Amazon of misusing the “App Store” name that confused consumers and developers.
Apple obtained the trademark “App Store” in 2008 after launching the iPhone App Store. In November last year, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) added to its claim that Amazon has changed its advertisement from “Amazon App Store for Android” to “Amazon App Store”, and that it that confused consumers. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) wanted Amazon to stop using the term “App Store” to describe its digital download store.
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Amazon argued on Wednesday that the moniker “app store” has become so generic that it can not be seen as a false advertisement, according to Apple Insider. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) started digging into Apple history, citing that Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, and CEO, Tim Cook, both have used the term to describe their competitors. Jobs said “four app stores on Android” in one of his statements, while Cook once referred to “the number of app stores out there.”
“Apple presumably does not contend that its past and current CEOs made false statements regarding those other app stores to thousands of investors in earnings calls,”Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) said. “To the contrary, the use of the term ‘app store’ to refer to stores selling apps is commonplace in the industry.”
The US trademark law allows the owner of the trademark to protect it effectively, otherwise the trademark may become a generic description. That’s what Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is arguing regarding “App Store”. The case is still open in the U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., and a hearing is scheduled on October 31.
Earlier, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had filed a similar claim against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) in 2011. But the software giant objected, saying that the term “App Store” is too generic. Apple responded by saying that if Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) can trademark “Windows”, then the “App Store” trademark should also be honored.