Court dismisses Apple 'App Store' trademark appeal

Apple didn't coin a new word, according to a federal judge

Apple lost an appeal in Australia's Federal Court on Wednesday over its bid for the "App Store" trademark.

The company applied for the trademark in July 2008, but the application was rejected by the country's Registrar of Trade Marks. It was also opposed by Microsoft.

In his ruling, Federal Judge David Yates wrote that when Apple launched its store and applied for the trademark, it did not mean the company had "coined a new word" or gave the word "app" a changed meaning.

"Apple has not established that, because of the extent to which it has used the mark before the filing date, it does distinguish the designated services as being Apple's services," Yates wrote. He dismissed Apple's appeal and ordered it to reimburse costs to the Registrar of Trade Marks.

The term "App Store" is included in a list of service and trademarks on Apple's website. Service marks are used for services, and trademarks are used for products.

In July 2013, Apple dropped a lawsuit against Amazon.com after it used the term "Appstore" for its mobile software developer program and for an online store of Android applications. Apple contended the use of "Appstore" would be confusing for consumers.

Amazon.com maintained it didn't use "Appstore" as a trademark but instead as a description of the service it offered in its store for Android devices.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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