Amazon rejects false advertising claim in Apple's "app store" suit

Apple had filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Amazon.com last year

The generic use of the term "app store" is not false advertising, and a federal court in California should grant partial summary judgment for Amazon.com on Apple's false advertising claim, the Internet retailer said in a filing on Wednesday.

Apple filed in March, 2011 a complaint against Amazon.com, alleging that the Internet retailer's use of the name "Amazon Appstore for Android" violated its App Store trademark.

Amazon.com's motion asks for judgment on Apple's claim that Amazon's use of Appstore amounts to false advertising, which is the fifth cause of action in the case.

The word Appstore is part of the name of Amazon's store, and not a statement about the nature, characteristics, or qualities of Amazon's store, much less a false one, Amazon.com said in the filing before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland division.

"What Apple is actually contending is that the use of "Appstore" may confuse consumers into believing that the Amazon Appstore is related to or sponsored by Apple," Amazon.com said. "Leaving for another day whether that is a reasonable contention, it is clearly one that sounds in trademark, not false advertising."

The name "Amazon Appstore for Android" appears on the homepage of Amazon.com., for example, but the function of such advertising is to direct viewers to, or identify to the consumer that he has arrived at the online store, the company said.

Amazon.com also cited instances when former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his successor Tim Cook referred to competitors' stores for apps as app stores, including on investor calls. The use of the term app store to refer to stores selling apps is commonplace in the industry and not a false statement, it said in the filing.

The court denied Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction on Amazon.com's use of the term "Appstore" in the trademark infringement case in July last year.

The term App Store figures in a list of service marks on Apple's website. Service marks are used for services, in the way that trademarks are used for products. Apple's bid to register the mark in 2008 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was opposed by Microsoft, which has asked the USPTO to hold the proceeding until final determination of the civil dispute between Apple and Amazon.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?