Apple may have lots to be happy with it – through the roof iPad 2 sales and the release of the iOS 4.3 – but it’s definitely not happy with Amazon.com (News - Alert).
At the end of last week, Apple filed a complaint in federal court in California accusing Amazon of using Apple’s “App Store” phrase, arguing that Amazon had engaged in trademark infringement and unfair competition. The tablet empire asked for a judge's order to prevent the company from using the term "App Store,” as well as for unspecified damages.
While Apple has contacted Amazon more three times to demand that it not use the name, Amazon has not "provided a substantive response," according to the lawsuit.
"We've asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers," said Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple.
Since 2008, more than 10 billion downloads have occurred through Apple’s App Store as individuals peruse the site to download Apple software programs and software from third-party developers for iPhone (News - Alert), iPod and iPad users.
"Amazon has begun improperly using Apple's App Store mark in connection with Amazon's mobile-software developer programme," Apple argued in the complaint. Amazon also plans to use the name with a mobile-software download service, the complaint states.Amazon has been remaining hush-hush about the complaint as Mary Osako, an Amazon spokesperson, explained on Monday that Amazon has a “llong-standing practice of not commenting on pending litigation.”
CEO of TMC (News - Alert) Rich Tehrani shared his thoughts on that matter, however, and argued that it “is tough to see how App store is not a generic term and/or concept.”
“I am not a lawyer but I’ve pointed out before when Apple sued Microsoft that App and Store are terms which have been around for many years – do they become something you can protect when you put them together?” Tehrani wrote in a blog post.
In the case of Amazon, according to the lawsuit, the company first started using the App Store term at the beginning of this year. Apple claimed that Amazon has been advertising on its website a program called Angry Birds Rio, a play on the increasingly popular Angry Birds game in Apple's App Store."Amazon has unlawfully used the App Store mark to solicit software developers throughout the United States," Apple claimed in its suit.Last August, Rupert Murdoch of News Corp (News - Alert) (FOX News) sued Skype over trademark infringement because Sky, which is 39.1 percent owned by News Corporation, had the three letters “sky” before Skype (News - Alert).