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Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Amazon Responds to Apple's 'Appstore' Lawsuit


Amazon.com responded to an Apple lawsuit filed last month that accused Amazon of trademark infringement over the name "app store."

In a court filing last month, pple argued that Amazon's new store for mobile phone applications, which is called the Amazon Appstore, infringes on the trademark of Apple's store for applications, called the App Store. In its response, Amazon Amazon denies Apple's argument.

In the document filed by Amazon at the U.S. District Court, Notherrn District of California and published online by the Los Angeles Times Amazon said that it isn't required to obtain a license or permission from Apple to use the "App Store" name because the term is "unprotectable."

Amazon is also arguing that the "app store" phrase is generic and that Apple shouldn't be allowed to claim exclusive rights to the term.

Here are parts of Amazon's response:

Based on their common meaning, the words "app store" together denote a store for apps, such as the app stores operated by Amazon and Apple. The American Dialect Society, a leading group of U.S. linguists, recently voted "app" as the "Word of the Year" for 2010, noting that although the word "has been around for ages," it "really exploded in the last 12 months" with the "arrival of 'app stores' for a wide spectrum of operating systems for phones and computers." Indeed, the words "app store" are commonly used among many businesses competing in the app store market.

Amazon also used a quote from Apple's chief executive, Steve Jobs, in defending itself, stating in its response:

In 2008 Apple launched its app store, which allows a consumer to view and instantly download apps for their Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. In press releases, Apple has claimed that its app store is "the largest application store in the world." In October 2010, Apple?s CEO Steve Jobs called Apple's app store "the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone."

Apple had applied to have the term trademarked in 2008, shortly after it launched its App Store for the iPhone. The company has also applied to register the APP STORE trademark in the United States, a bid which Microsoft opposes.


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