Amazon notches partial win over Apple in trademark lawsuit

Apple alleges Amazon's "Appstore" name is too close to its own "App Store"

A U.S. federal judge ruled Wednesday that Amazon.com did not mislead consumers by calling its own applications marketplace the "Appstore," a name that Apple alleged is too similar to its own "App Store."

Apple asked Amazon three times in early 2011 to not use the Appstore name as Amazon edged closer to launching its application download service, according to a court document. Apple sued on March 18, 2011, four days before Amazon launched "Appstore for Android."

In a complaint amended in November, Apple alleged six causes of action for the lawsuit: trademark infringement and dilution under the Lanham Act, common law trademark infringement, dilution under the California Business and Professions Code, unfair competition and false advertising.

Amazon filed a motion for a partial summary judgement on Sept. 26 to dismiss the claim of false advertising, which was granted by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton. Apple had argued that Amazon's use of the term would cause people to associate its own store with "the inferior qualities of Amazon's service."

The Internet company countered that the summary judgement should be granted since Apple did not identify a single false statement made by the company in describing its Appstore for Android. Apple conceded it had no evidence of a false statement, but argued that a false statement could be implied under the Lanham Act, a federal act concerning trademark infringement.

Hamilton wrote that the mere use by Amazon of "Appstore" to describe a site for purchasing applications could not be construed as meaning the site has the same nature or quality as that of Apple's App Store.

"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," Hamilton wrote in her nine-page judgement.

The case, which is being heard in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, will continue on Apple's remaining five claims.

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

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.

Tags Applelegalamazon.comCivil lawsuits

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?