For as long as there have been apps, Apple seem to feel that they own the naming of “App Store” and that Amazon’s “Appstore for Android” should’t be allowed because it plays too closely to Apple’s simply names “App Store”. Amazon and Apple have been at loggerheads concerning this issue for some time now and there doesn’t seem to be much of an end in sight but, with this latest ruling it looks like Amazon may have secured a point against Apple.
Apple have been arguing that Amazon are using “false advertising” in their branding of their “Appstore for Android” and that it causes confusion for consumers when put next to Apple’s own “App Store”. It’s all gotten a little silly but we could understand why Apple would be worried about the naming of the two stores after all, their App Store for iOS is perhaps their biggest tool against the competition and with Google’s Play Store and Amazon’s digital offerings getting bigger and bigger they will want to hold onto everything they can.
District Court Judge, Phyllis Hamilton disagreed with Apple and said that: “Apple has failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement (express or implied) of fact that actually deceived or had the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of its audience”. When concerned with the actual naming of Amazon’s market for apps, Judge Hamilton had this to say: The mere use of “Appstore” by Amazon to designate a site for viewing and downloading/purchasing apps cannot be construed as a representation that the nature, characteristics, or quality of the Amazon Appstore is the same as that of the Apple APP STORE.”
It seems that Apple has become the victim of the very word “app” permeating the vernacular and attitudes seem to be that the word “app” is now an everyday term, and opening a store for them is as normal as opening a store for fruit called a “fruit store”. We always thought that Apple were on tricky footing when it comes to defending the App Store naming as it’s pretty generic and despite the fact that they were there first, apps are now everywhere and to sell them is pretty natural. Of course, Google went the safer route with the Android Market and now the Play Store but Amazon had to come up with some way of differentiating their app store from the Kindle store and their overall e-commerce outlets, and “Appstore for Android” seems to be the easiest and most effective in doing that.
This might seem like a victory for Amazon but this is just one of six pending complaints Apple has with Amazon and subsequent claims concerning trademarks and infringement will be decided at a later date.