Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/21/amazon_v_amazee/
Tree huggers will confuse shoppers, says Amazon
Amazon.com is an immensely popular online storefront that sells everything from books and groceries to virtual timeshares of its extensive data center infrastructure.
Amazee is a Switzerland-based, social "collaboration website" made for social activists and protestors to organize, promote, and fund their public uprisings and Earth-saving efforts.
While the two websites offer distinct services, Amazon.com is none too pleased about the "amaz" the two sites share, and is trying to block Amazee's US trademark application.
And Amazee's not taking it lying down. The organization's launched a site to stir up public support for their naming battle, saying its "peaceful and cooperative efforts to reach an amicable solution have not borne any fruits."
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Amazon.com has been objecting to Amazee's name since the beginning of this year. Amazon attorneys say the average person won't appreciate the differences between Amazon and Amazee, thus leading to consumer confusion between the two brands. Apparently, a customer shopping for tasteful shoes online may accidentally wind up rescuing atrophied kangaroos from a shampoo testing compound or something.
From Amazee's blog:
This, as you can imagine, is very annoying for us. We see no danger of confusion. Our name comes from the word "amazing", theirs from the mighty Amazon river. We have no intention of selling books, CDs, or whatever Amazon has in stock.
As of publication, Amazon hasn't returned our requests for comment. But if the company's plan was to stop Amazee from using its good name as a promotional vehicle the attempts to block the trademark is certainly not working as intended. Amazon has inadvertently become the best publicist Amazee could wish for. ®