Apple accuses Amazon of false advertising in ongoing pursuit of 'App Store' trademark

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple continues to fight for the "App Store" trademark, accusing Amazon of false advertisement in an amended filing against the company's use of the term in a recent promotion for the Kindle Fire tablet.



Apple filed the revised claim on Wednesday in response to Amazon's use of the term when marketing the Kindle Fire in September, hoping to bolster its position in winning the "App Store" trademark, reports paidContent.org.



The iPhone maker claims that it has the only true App Store and that Amazon's use of the term could lead customers to believe that the companies have affiliated software marketplaces. The filing goes on to say that Amazon's ad was false or misleading, and could have caused confusion for customers.



"For example, consumer of mobile software downloads are likely to be confused as to whether Amazon's mobile software download service is sponsored or approved by Apple or is merely a conduit for Apple's APP STORE service."



Amazon's Kindle Fire web page has been updated since its Sep. debut and no longer includes mention of the Amazon App Store.



Apple originally filed the complaint in March when Amazon used the phrase "Appstore for Android" when promoting its marketplace for software designed to run on Google's smartphone platform. Since then the Internet sales giant has used the term in various advertisements and Amazon related services.







When Apple first launched its iPhone App Store in July 2008, the company applied for ownership of the "App Store" trademark, however the Trademark Office has yet to grant the application. Rivals have complained that the term is generic and should not be owned by any one company, with Microsoft going so far as to file a formal objection in January.



Trademark cases have the potential be taken to court, where an application will be deemed valid based on a five-part distinctiveness scale. "Generic" or "descriptive" terms cannot be trademarked, though "fanciful" names are more likely to garner legal protection.



Apple is no stranger to intellectual property lawsuits, and is currently embroiled in a worldwide patent dispute with Samsung. The Cupertino, Calif. company has won a temporary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia, and most recently forced the Korean company to modify and rebrand the device in an attempt to sidestep an outright ban in Germany.



Samsung has yet to find success in its many attempts to leverage FRAND patents against Apple, though the Galaxy device maker continues to file suits worldwide.
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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,481member
    Okay, so what does Amazon's depiction say?



    Do they say, "You can download apps from the App Store" or do they say "from the Amazon App Store?"



    Because the former's obviously infringing. The latter, of course, is just part of Apple's other case where they want to trademark 'App Store' as a name.



    Question: Doesn't Amazon have a trademark on 'One-Click'? How is that different from Apple being able to trademark 'App Store'?



    You know what's NOT in question. Amazon's pitching of the Kindle Fire as having the same screen as the iPad. That's abject nonsense right there.
  • freerangefreerange Posts: 1,360member
    Truly amazing that Apple's stock has declined so much in the past week when you compare their profits and gross margins to Amazon, as well as their respective PE ratios. Amazon has chosen a low margin, make no profit, give it away for free, build it and they will come business strategy to the detriment of their shareholders, while Apple continues to fire on all cylinders in every product category making record profits, the majority of industry profits, at high margins. Go figure. And Amazon keeps wanting to put a stick in Apple's eye. Maybe Amazon should start focusing on creating more profitable businesses and stop wasting the owners' (shareholders') money. Oh, and now they want to produce a phone so they can lose even more of their shareholders money. The stupidity of all this is that you can get Amazon products and services on Apple and all the major brand devices already through the web, or through Amazon produced apps that are available in the real App Store from Apple.
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    You know what's NOT in question. Amazon's pitching of the Kindle Fire as having the same screen as the iPad. That's abject nonsense right there.



    I thought it did. Both are IPS displays, and both at the same res aren't they?



    EDIT: It looks like the Kindle Fire has a higher pixel density than the iPad2. That doesn't make the Fire an iPad competitor IMO, but the screens are very comparable as far as I can see.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,056member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Because the former's obviously infringing. The latter, of course, is just part of Apple's other case where they want to trademark 'App Store' as a name.



    and as part of that attempt they have to file these types of complaints as part of protecting their mark.



    Quote:

    Question: Doesn't Amazon have a trademark on 'One-Click'? How is that different from Apple being able to trademark 'App Store'?



    it is different because Apple licenses One Click from Amazon and with it comes use of the trademark etc. If you read the Apple terms they say that One-Click is the licensed trademark of Amazon and is used with permission.



    Apple isn't using One-Click to talk about something that is wholly Apple
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I thought it did. Both are IPS displays, and both at the same res aren't they?



    EDIT: It looks like the Kindle Fire has a higher pixel density than the iPad2. That doesn't make the Fire an iPad competitor IMO, but the screens are very comparable as far as I can see.



    Not the same screens (different size, shape, pixel density), but the same technology and the same wide viewing angle.



    The "Appstore" trademark has not been granted yet, so Amazon isn't doing anything wrong. If the trademark is approved, they will probably have to come up with another term.



    Personally, I have zero sympathy for anyone that will confuse Apple's App Store with Amazon's Appstore.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,481member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    it is different because Apple licenses One Click from Amazon and with it comes use of the trademark etc. If you read the Apple terms they say that One-Click is the licensed trademark of Amazon and is used with permission.



    Apple isn't using One-Click to talk about something that is wholly Apple



    Well, sure; I just mean in the sense that nowhere else can call their thing 'one-click' (could be wrong on this: or even have a one-click service?) without licensing it from Amazon. I was wondering how their monopolization of the phrase 'one-click' would be different from Apple's use of 'App Store'.
  • tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Why not use the name Amap Store?
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,481member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    Why not use the name Amap Store?



    Then they'll get complaints from a bunch of confused and hurt cartographers.
  • 801801 Posts: 271member
    Yeesh, ya think apples got enough lawyers yet?
  • tonyztonyz Posts: 12member
    Apple just needs to give this one up... App Store is a generic name that doesn't apply only to them. Trademark "Apple App Store" and be done with it and save some cash as anyone with a iOS device knows they can only get apps from Apple's app store without jailbreaking....
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,481member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TonyZ View Post


    Apple just needs to give this one up... App Store is a generic name that doesn't apply only to them.



    Yep. Generic like 'Band-Aid' and 'Kleenex'. Of course Apple can't have the right to that name anymore, because neither of those? companies? have?
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Okay, so what does Amazon's depiction say?



    Do they say, "You can download apps from the App Store" or do they say "from the Amazon App Store?"



    Because the former's obviously infringing. The latter, of course, is just part of Apple's other case where they want to trademark 'App Store' as a name.



    Everything I've seen shows "Amazon Appstore for Android" So they clearly associate it with both Amazon and Android and make Appstore into word. I don't see how Apple has a case here.



    Quote:

    Question: Doesn't Amazon have a trademark on 'One-Click'? How is that different from Apple being able to trademark 'App Store'?



    I would assume that 1-Click is trademarked, but it's the patent that Amazon really has rights to and Apple et al. license.
  • pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Yep. Generic like 'Band-Aid' and 'Kleenex'. Of course Apple can't have the right to that name anymore, because neither of those? companies? have?



    "windows"
  • absolutedesignzabsolutedesignz Posts: 1,930member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post


    "windows"



    Windows doesn't sell windows just like Apple doesn't sell apples.



    "Windows window shop" or "Apple's apple orchard" on the other hand
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,481member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post


    "windows"



    That's a separate use case.



    The argument people have against Apple having the exclusive rights to the phrase "App Store" comes from their (incorrect) belief that the term is generic, referring to all app stores on all platforms.



    It did not have its present definition (if it had any at all) before Apple's use to refer to their iOS store.



    Thus, it is the same case as 'Band-Aid' and 'Kleenex'. These names are in use to describe ALL adhesive bandages and ALL facial tissue, respectively. They still have exclusive rights to their names. Apple deserves exactly the same.



    Windows, on the other hand, is not only associated with computer software, much less is the generic term for all computer operating systems.
  • cpsrocpsro Posts: 1,951member
    Q: who used the term "app" publicly before Apple did or before Apple applied for the trademark? Any takers?

    I believe Apple seeks support for their trademark application from their claim that they invented the term, were the exclusive users of that term, as well as the word combination "app store".
  • gatorguygatorguy Posts: 14,133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post


    Q: who used the term "app" publicly before Apple did or before Apple applied for the trademark? Any takers?

    I believe Apple seeks support for their trademark application from their claim that they invented the term, were the exclusive users of that term, as well as the word combination "app store".



    They weren't the first with either term. One of the first was Salesforce IIRC, but there were others as well.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post


    Q: who used the term "app" publicly before Apple did or before Apple applied for the trademark? Any takers?

    I believe Apple seeks support for their trademark application from their claim that they invented the term, were the exclusive users of that term, as well as the word combination "app store".



    The OED (not that OED, the other one) says it's 1992. It has no citation but I'd think that is most like from NeXT. It's also been to reference Java apps well before the iPhone came on the scene.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,481member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    It has no citation but I'd think that is most like from NeXT.



    Wouldn't Apple be golden, then?



    Quote:

    It's also been to reference Java apps well before the iPhone came on the scene.



    I distinctly remember them being called 'Java applets' back in the day. Maybe they used 'app' too, but all I remember is 'applet'.
  • bullheadbullhead Posts: 492member
    Apple should sue over the false advertising of the Kindle Fire too. Amazon misleads customers telling the display is the "...same as an iPad" on their site when it clearly does not even measure the same size.
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