Apple App Store versus Amazon Android Appstore
This spring, rumors were confirmed that Amazon was opening a proprietary Android Appstore using Amazon Payments which was becoming more popular than Google Checkout in the developer world, opening up opportunity for expanded options for Android users.
When the Amazon Appstore launched, Apple filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement by using the phrase “App Store,” which Apple trademarked back in 2008. This spring, we reported that it was interesting “that if you go to the Amazon Developer Portal, it is referred to as the “Appstore,” all one word, only one capital letter.”
“Consumers of mobile software downloads are likely to be confused as to whether Amazon’s mobile software download service is sponsored or approved by Apple,” Apple said in its complaint.
While waiting for a trial that has been set for October 2011, Apple filed a request for a preliminary injunction in California federal court which would stop Amazon from use of the name “Appstore” effective immediately.
Judge denies request, we’ll have to wait until trial
California Judge Phyllis Hamilton wrote in her opinion that she Apple had investments regarding the name in question and the name has brand recognition, but she wrote, “there is also evidence that the term ‘app store’ is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices.”
This landmark case applies to any industry as trademarks should be defended. Regardless, it is difficult to imagine that someone going to the Amazon “Appstore” and sees Android branding will get upset and confused that there are no Apple products, as prior to Amazon’s launch, users typically used their phone’s native market for downloading apps.
Our opinion rendered this spring stands, “Regardless, they will and should protect their trademark since they are in the same industry and if Amazon was smart, they would use it as an opportunity to rebrand as a next gen product if they lose.”