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

post #1 of 35
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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.
post #2 of 35
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.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #3 of 35
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.
post #4 of 35
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.
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post #5 of 35
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

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post #6 of 35
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.
post #7 of 35
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'.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #8 of 35
Why not use the name Amap Store?
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post #9 of 35
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.

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #10 of 35
Yeesh, ya think apples got enough lawyers yet?
post #11 of 35
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....
post #12 of 35
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

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #13 of 35
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.
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post #14 of 35
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"
post #15 of 35
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
post #16 of 35
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.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #17 of 35
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".
post #18 of 35
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.
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post #19 of 35
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.
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post #20 of 35
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'.

Originally posted by Relic

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post #21 of 35
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.
post #22 of 35
I remember Microsoft tried to trademark Windows and failed. That is why they trademarked Microsoft Windows (R) instead.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Wouldn't Apple be golden, then?

I don't think so since we'd only be talking about the shortening of application(s) to app(s), which is pretty natural in language. The real question is about the specific use of App Store and its variants.

As previously stated, SalesForce had AppStore before the iPhone was even announced, much less before the iOS App Store was announced.

All that said, this isn't a patent, but a trademark, so prior art isn't an issue, but the defense of your trademark is and as far as I know SalesForce has never tried to defense AppStore in any way, shape or form. In that sense Apple does have a case and it makes sense they are defending it, but giving the way Amazon is presenting their Amazon AppStore for Android I think Amazon has a stronger case that prevents any confusion over trademark branding.
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post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

…when it clearly does not even measure the same size.

And may not be of the same quality panel. Testing would show that.

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post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

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.

They are both IPS displays. I think that counts. I don't think they imply it's the same size or resolution, although it's pretty close for being about half the display size.

Do they state in what why it's the same or append that after saying it's IPS?

If I were Apple I wouldn't complain with that free advertising that is clearly showing the iPad as being the ideal when it comes to tablets (or tablet-esque) devices.


edit: Here are the two statements from the Amazon Kindle Fire page:
Quote:
Kindle Fire uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology - similar technology to that used on the iPad - for an extra-wide viewing angle, perfect for sharing your screen with others.

Quote:
Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle - same as an iPad

Those are truthful. That second quote is referencing the viewing angle; both displays are 178°.
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post #26 of 35
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. 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....

Yeah, because no one would trademark a generic term, like say, Windows. See I even had to put TM next to Windows, so I won't get sued.
post #27 of 35
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.

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.

As much of an Apple fan as I am, this is one Apple lawsuit I think is "abject nonsense." I'm sure Android app users know it's not the "Apple Appstore" since the software sold in the store won't run on any of Apple's devices. The customers who are going to use Amazon's store probably are not Apple customers or if they also have Apple devices, they would know the difference.

I've always knew I was in Amazon's store when I saw the "1-click" button. I don't make the leap that Amazon is affiliated with the many online stores that use this label in their name or advertising, such as OneClickCash, OneClickMoviez, or OneClick.com. IMO, it's petty of Apple to pursue this "Appstore" lawsuit and does more negative harm to the Apple brand than Apple can do itself.

Apple surely has the right to try to trademark this phrase but I believe Apple's competition has the right to object to Apple's ownership of it. Apple may win but they may lose more in customer mind share than they won in the battle.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

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.

All I got from your rant is a butthurt Apple shareholder who is complaining about competition that is hurting his shares.

You've contributed nothing to the issue at hand.

My contribution?

Pointing out that your contribution sucks.

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #29 of 35
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

Huh?

Please show me a generic brand of facial tissue that has to therm Kleenex on the box.
(Hint: There isn't any)
post #30 of 35
Apple's desperation is unbecoming of them. They are an industry leader and the more the moan, complain and sue they lose credibility. There just is no possible way anyone can confuse the two.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy;

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.

If you actually look at Amazons website, they say it is an IPS panel providing a great viewing angle like the iPad. Nowhere are they saying it is the same, same resolution, same density, nothing just a great viewing angle.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patranus View Post

Huh?

Please show me a generic brand of facial tissue that has to therm Kleenex on the box.
(Hint: There isn't any)

That's the point I was making. Please reread it. (and I could have sworn rolly eyes was sarcasm.)

Originally posted by Relic

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Originally posted by Relic

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post #33 of 35
Where is the class action? I bought a bunch of stuff from this Amazon Appstore for Android and now it won't work on my iPad!!!

With this Amazon Appstore for Android Amazon are clearly trying to profit off Apple's good name by tricking us. Nowhere in this Amazon Appstore for Android what I given a hint that apps purchased wouldn't work on my iPad.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellacool View Post

If you actually look at Amazons website, they say it is an IPS panel providing a great viewing angle like the iPad. Nowhere are they saying it is the same, same resolution, same density, nothing just a great viewing angle.

They say a bit more than that. They claim a higher pixel density than Apple's iPad, 169ppi compared to Apple's 132ppi

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.htm...l_8iij4jfqtt_b
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post #35 of 35
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

As per my understanding, Band-Aid and Kleenex are not as generic as App Store.

Band-aid is nowhere close to adhesive bandage.

Kleenex is nowhere close to facial tissue.

App Store is pretty close to a store which sells applications.
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