Feeds

Amazon refudiates Apple 'app store' trademark suit

Quotes Steve Jobs in defense

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Amazon is fighting back against an Apple lawsuit that charged the mega-etailer with using the term "App Store" without proper Cupertinian consent.

In a response to Apple's lawsuit, which was filed on March 18 in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Amazon says it needs no license or other authorization from Apple to use the term because "app store" is a generic term.

According to Amazon, Apple itself has genericized the term. "In press releases, Apple has claimed that its app store is 'the largest application store in the world'," the filing notes. "In October 2010, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs called Apple's app store 'the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone'."

Perhaps Jobs should have cleared that statement with his legal team before shipping ammunition to the enemy.

Among its arguments for the generic nature of the term "app store", Amazon cites "The American Dialect Society, a leading group of U.S. linguists, [which] recently voted 'app' as the 'Word of the Year' for 2010, noting that although the word 'has been around for ages,' it 'really exploded in the last 12 months' with the 'arrival of "app stores" for a wide spectrum of operating systems for phones and computers'."

If you can't trust the American Dialect Society, who can you trust?

If this tempest in a trademark teapot sounds familiar, that may be because it covers the same ground as a separate-but-equal legal tussle between Apple and Microsoft.

After Apple filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office for protection of the term "app store" – or, as Apple's filing orthographically insists, "APP STORE" – Microsoft lodged an Opposition filing to the USPTO, which made much the same argument that Amazon has provided: that the term 'app store' is generic.

"'App' is a common generic name for the goods offered at Apple's store," and "'Store' is generic for the 'retail store services' for which Apple seeks registration," Microsoft argued in its brief seeking to put trademarking 'app store' beyond the pale.

Apple's legal team sought to defeat Microsoft's arguments – unfortunately in a font size that Microsoft said was too small to satisfy court-submission guidelines. Microsoft then offered the USPTO a more-comprehensive disputation of Apple's claims.

And round and round we go, with the next step likely being Apple arguing against Amazon's arguments against Apple's arguments.

Bootnote

When the American Dialect Society honored "app" as 2010's Word of the Year ("tweet" was 2009's winner), it also hailed other neologisms, both welcome and less so. A sampling:

  • Most Useful: nom – Onomatopoetic form connoting eating, esp. pleasurably
  • Most Unnecessary: refudiate – Blend of refute and repudiate used by Sarah Palin on Twitter
  • Most Outrageous: gate rape – Pejorative term for invasive new airport pat-down procedure
  • Most Euphemistic: kinetic event – Pentagon term for violent attacks on troops in Afghanistan
  • Least Likely to Succeed: culturomics – Research project from Google analyzing the history of language and culture

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.