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Amazon vs. Amazon case settled

Amazon.com gets to keep the name, feminist bookstore has a licence to use it

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Last April, you may recall, we reported on Minneapolis-based bookstore Amazon's attempt to seek recompense from Amazon.com for allegedly misappropriating its name. Today, nearly seven months later, the two bookshops have reached an out-of-court settlement. The agreement grants Amazon.com exclusive rights to the name Amazon (solely when used in the context of bookselling, presumably), but also gives Amazon Bookstore Cooperative (ABC), the real-world store's owner, a licence to use the name. Amazon.com gets to retain its trademark, something ABC's original suit wanted rescinded. Given ABC had failed to trademark the name, that's perhaps only fair. "While the lawsuit was at times difficult and both sides strongly advocated their positions, we do recognize and appreciate Amazon.com's good faith and willingness to work with us in resolving it," said ABC president Barb Weiser. ABC's case centred on its 30-year existence -- older even than the Internet, let alone one of the Net's leading e-companies. ABC alleged that "the rapid growth and vast size of Amazon.com, along with its massive marketing expenditures, is overwhelming Amazon Bookstore and negating its attempts to alleviate the confusion and preserve its unique identity". ®

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