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Legal Technology: US Court Rejects Part of Apple's App Lawsuit Against Amazon

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January 03, 2013

US Court Rejects Part of Apple's App Lawsuit Against Amazon

By Ashok Bindra, TMCnet Contributor

On Wednesday, Reuters (News - Alert) reported that U.S. judge rejected part of Apple's lawsuit against online retailer Amazon’s use of the term App Store. The court ruling has challenged Apple’s (News - Alert) false advertising claim against Amazon.

The U.S. district Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, Calif., granted Amazon's motion for partial summary judgment, which only challenged Apple's false advertising allegations. Meanwhile, Apple has leveled other claims against Amazon, including trademark infringement.

According to Reuters, “An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, and an Amazon representative could not be reached immediately.”

Lately Amazon has stepped up competition against Apple. For example, the online retailer launched a cheaper version Kindle tablet to aggressively go after the dominant Apple iPad, thus, trying hard to attract mobile application developers to its Kindle platform.

In fact, Apple first took Amazon to court in 2011, when the iPhone (News - Alert) maker accused Amazon of misusing the name APP STORE to solicit developers. However, Amazon claims that its so-called Appstore has become so generic that its use could not constitute false advertising.

Meanwhile, in a legal filing last year, Amazon said that Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook and his predecessor, Steve Jobs (News - Alert), used the term to discuss rivals. Cook commented on the number of app stores out there, while Jobs referred to the "four app stores on Android (News - Alert)."

In her ruling on Wednesday, Hamilton wrote that the mere use of "Appstore" by Amazon cannot be taken as a representation that its service is the same as Apple's.

"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," reported Reuters.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli



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