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Apple stepping up trademark fight against Amazon Appstore

post #1 of 71
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Apple's efforts to fight the Amazon Appstore name have picked up, with a new court filing accusing Amazon of intending to confuse consumers.

The filings, issued last week and highlighted on Thursday by GigaOm, demand that an Amazon executive testify why the online retailer removed the words "for Android" from the Amazon Appstore name. The filing asserts that Amazon's decision to minimize the use of "for Android" in the name is "highly relevant" to the case.

"Amazon has steadfastly refused to produce documents and information regarding the use of 'for Android' in connection with its service..." the filing reads. "Amazon has filed to produce a witness who can testify regarding the decision not to use 'for Android' with the Amazon Appstore Service outside the context of the Kindle Fire, despite clear evidence that Amazon frequently does not use 'for Android' in conjunction with its Service."

Apple first filed suit against Amazon last year, asserting that Amazon has violated the "App Store" trademark for which Apple has applied. But Apple doesn't yet own that trademark, and other major technology companies, such as Microsoft, have sought to block Apple's application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Appstore


Microsoft, Amazon and others believe the term "app store" is too generic to be fairly registered, while Apple believes its iOS platform popularized the word "app" and most customers associate the words "app store" with the iOS App Store. In one court filing last year, Apple shot back at Microsoft and said that the "App Store" trademark is no less generic than Microsoft's ownership of "Windows."

One study released this March found that the Amazon Appstore, available on Android-based devices as well as the Kindle Fire tablet, is more profitable for developers on an active-user basis than Google Play, Google's own digital storefront for Android. However, analytics firm Flurry also found that Apple's iOS App Store remains the market leader in terms of profitability.
post #2 of 71

Apple and their lawsuits.. burning bridges everywhere they go.

post #3 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

Apple and their lawsuits.. burning bridges everywhere they go.

 

 

They're not burning bridges.  Look how they fucked over Apple (the music label) by using the Apple name in violation of their previous agreement.  That ended up with Apple (the no-longer computer company) having the opportunity to sell the Beatles catalog.

 

If the past is any indication of the future, Apple can do whatever underhanded crap they want and still make more profits than before.  Don't bet against them.  Money talks.

post #4 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

Apple and their lawsuits.. burning bridges everywhere they go.

(1) Apple should aggressively, unrelentingly, repeatedly go after the copyists to protect its IP. There is no point in seeking IP protection if you can't defend its use. (2) No need to weep for Apple. There are no relevant bridges being burnt (except those that the trolls are protecting).

post #5 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post
..Apple can do whatever underhanded crap they want and still make more profits than before.  Don't bet against them.  Money talks.

Oh, grow up.

 

PS: Fandroid alert! (Expect more to jump in soon).

post #6 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

(1) Apple should aggressively, unrelentingly, repeatedly go after the copyists to protect its IP.

They should, but I don't think Amazon Appstore is too confusing to violate Apple's trademark.

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post #7 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post
Apple and their lawsuits.. burning bridges everywhere they go.

 

Ooh, analogies. Let's, shall we?

 

The bridges Apple is burning through their lawsuits are beam bridges made of rotting wood and assembled with wooden pegs at the joints. They're in the process of being updated.

 

They sit across rivers already spanned by Apple's cantilever spar cable-stayed bridges, made of carbon fiber and rated to several million tons.

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post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


They should, but I don't think Amazon Appstore is too confusing to violate Apple's trademark.

 

Apple doesn't even OWN the trademark. Yet.

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post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

They should, but I don't think Amazon Appstore is too confusing to violate Apple's trademark.

What you think is probably irrelevant. (I, for instance, think the opposite, but would say the same thing about my own view). The only thing that matters is what Apple thinks.

post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

 

Apple doesn't even OWN the trademark. Yet.

Of course not. It's still being processed. It takes a few years, in case you didn't know.

---

(I was right in #5 above about more jumping in soon.....)

post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

What you think is probably irrelevant. (I, for instance, think the opposite, but would say the same thing about my own view). The only thing that matters is what Apple thinks.

I don't think either of our opinions are irrelevant. I find your PoV relevant and I hope you find mine relevant, too.

I do think Apple should defend their trademark and I do think they should defend it against Amazon. I just don't think they truly believe Amazon is violating their trademark or that they will win this battle. The reason to do it is the off chance they will win, but more importantly it's to show they are willing to defend their trademarks which are very important in trademark law, from what I understand. Unlike with patents where you can let it ride and then sue once it's successful with trademarks you have to defend otherwise you risk it becoming genericized.

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post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Of course not. It's still being processed. It takes a few years, in case you didn't know.

---

(I was right in #5 above about more jumping in soon.....)

 

Right, I'm surely a fandroid, grow up. This was the first story I opened here all day since it's on top. I actually have work to do.

 

Point is, SophX can't call it Apple's trademark if they don't own it, and why I said yet. They are required to defend it even in the application process obviously.

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post #13 of 71
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post
Point is, SophX can't call it Apple's trademark if they don't own it, and why I said yet. They are required to defend it even in the application process obviously.

 

When did Amazon apply for the trademark? Or have they at all?

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post #14 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

Apple and their lawsuits.. burning bridges everywhere they go.

 

You don't understand what "burning bridges" even means do you? :-)

post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

 

 

They're not burning bridges.  Look how they fucked over Apple (the music label) by using the Apple name in violation of their previous agreement.  That ended up with Apple (the no-longer computer company) having the opportunity to sell the Beatles catalog.

 

If the past is any indication of the future, Apple can do whatever underhanded crap they want and still make more profits than before.  Don't bet against them.  Money talks.

 

It would be hard to find a more complete mis-representation of what actually went on in Apple v. Apple than what you have written here.  

post #16 of 71

Talk about a generic trademark how about "1-click" owned by our friends at the South American river company.  (Yes they patented AND trademarked that "non-obvious" "invention.")

post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Point is, SophX can't call it Apple's trademark if they don't own it, and why I said yet. They are required to defend it even in the application process obviously.

I think I can reasonably call it a trademark...


Sure, it's more accurately referred to as a service mark but that's just a trademark for a service rather than a physical product. It's also very common as it's still most commonly written as two words rather than one. Etymologically speaking you can see the evolution of terms from multiple words, to hyphenated words to a single word and it usually shows a pattern of common usage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Also grow up and give up on the fandroid bullshit. You sound like a wuss.

Seriously?! I know you're better than that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

Talk about a generic trademark how about "1-click" owned by our friends at the South American river company.  (Yes they patented AND trademarked that "non-obvious" "invention.")

And Apple is a major licensee to this day.
Edited by SolipsismX - 7/26/12 at 12:32pm

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #18 of 71

Huh, I didn't know Apple owned the rights to the name Amazon.

post #19 of 71
Quote:
The filings, issued last week and highlighted on Thursday by GigaOm, demand that an Amazon executive testify why the online retailer removed the words "for Android" from the Amazon Appstore name. The filing asserts that Amazon's decision to minimize the use of "for Android" in the name is "highly relevant" to the case.

The answer to this is surprisingly simple.

 

With the launch of the Kindle fire (which is not officially an Android device with its forked OS), the Amazon appstore is in breech of this Android trademark:

 

Quote:

Any name with 'Android' alone may not be used in a name without permission. Any name with 'Droid' alone may not be used in a name.

The word 'Android' may be used only as a descriptor, 'for Android'. If used with your logo, 'for Android' needs to be smaller in size than your logo. First instance of this use should be followed by a TM symbol, 'for Android™'.

http://developer.android.com/distribute/googleplay/promote/brand.html

 


The Amazon Appstore is no longer "for Android" only.

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post #20 of 71

I just don't understand why Apple wants to wage this war.  I have called applications "apps" for years.  I honestly think it has something to do with the fact that "app" just happens to be the first 3 letters of "Apple".  

 

Maybe they should also trademark the work appendectomy.  Or appendage.

post #21 of 71
Perfect example of how trademarks and patents have gotten out of control. There is nothing on an iPad that wasn't on star trek 20 years ago. App store is too generic. Why not trademark "Department Store" or even the Apple "Retail Store?"
post #22 of 71

Apparently.

post #23 of 71
Originally Posted by rednival View Post
I honestly think it has something to do with the fact that "app" just happens to be the first 3 letters of "Apple".  


I honestly think you haven't honestly thought that through.

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post #24 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

Only thing that matters is what he legal system thinks. No one gives a shit what Apple thinks, doesn't even matter what is true only what you can prove. Also grow up and give up on the fandroid bullshit. You sound like a wuss.

Ah, welcome back....

post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

 

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Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

 

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Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

 

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Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfkindc View Post

Groan... I lose. Time to flee to another thread....

post #26 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerrySwitched26 View Post

 

 

They're not burning bridges.  Look how they fucked over Apple (the music label) by using the Apple name in violation of their previous agreement.  That ended up with Apple (the no-longer computer company) having the opportunity to sell the Beatles catalog.

 

If the past is any indication of the future, Apple can do whatever underhanded crap they want and still make more profits than before.  Don't bet against them.  Money talks.

 

You are misinformed about Apple ( Computer ) versus Apple Corps (record company )

 

They didn't f-over Apple Corps. There were several disputes in the 1980's that Apple Corps won. Then there were further settlements in the early 90's.  These were all things that are ridiculous by today's standards.  A record company preventing a computer company from having a MIDI controller, recording music,  playing digital music.  This all got worked out in the 90's. All because of a trademark. Nevertheless, Apple Computer paid for their use.

 

After working the final judgement in 2007 Apple Computer  ended up buying the entirety of the Apple Corps trademark for $500M and licensing the music and recording aspect of it back to Apple Corps.

 

This is not in any way comparable to Apple's trademark  on "App store", since Amazon's use of the trademarked name is for the exact same use.

Amazon is arguing that the trademark is too generic. ( and it may be )

post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

(1) Apple should aggressively, unrelentingly, repeatedly go after the copyists to protect its IP. There is no point in seeking IP protection if you can't defend its use. (2) No need to weep for Apple. There are no relevant bridges being burnt (except those that the trolls are protecting).

 Are you suggesting that Apple owners are so dumb that they would purchase apps in the Amazon Appstore?

 

If not then what is the problem?

post #28 of 71

Blackberry has "App World"

Google has "Google Play" (formerly "Android Market")

Microsoft has "Marketplace"

Apple has "App Store"

Amazon has "Appstore"

 

And people wonder why Apple is mad? Use the exact same term as Apple, but take out the space between "App" and "store". Come on, Amazon, everyone else has unique names - you can't even spend 5 minutes to come up with your own?

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post #29 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by rednival View Post

I have called applications "apps" for years. 

Apple deserves to win the TM for App Store, but in terms of Apps as a word, yes definitely heard it for years. Like the ol' HS guidance counselor asking if I submitted all my college apps yet or not. Ah, those were the days. ;)

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post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Blackberry has "App World"

Google has "Google Play" (formerly "Android Market")

Microsoft has "Marketplace"

Apple has "App Store"

Amazon has "Appstore"

 

And people wonder why Apple is mad? Use the exact same term as Apple, but take out the space between "App" and "store". Come on, Amazon, everyone else has unique names - you can't even spend 5 minutes to come up with your own?

Come on, Apple, everyone else has unique names - you can't even spend 5 minutes to come up with your own instead of taking the name from a piece of fruit?

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post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Blackberry has "App World"
Google has "Google Play" (formerly "Android Market")
Microsoft has "Marketplace"
Apple has "App Store"
Amazon has "Appstore"

And people wonder why Apple is mad? Use the exact same term as Apple, but take out the space between "App" and "store". Come on, Amazon, everyone else has unique names - you can't even spend 5 minutes to come up with your own?

Amazon has Amazon Appstore which I don't think is confusing since it's always presented in that way. Unless Apple can show that iPhone users are going to Amazon's site to buy apps that don't work on their iDevices I don't think Apple has a case they can win.

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post #32 of 71
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
Amazon has Amazon Appstore which I don't think is confusing since it's always presented in that way. Unless Apple can show that iPhone users are going to Amazon's site to buy apps that don't work on their iDevices I don't think Apple has a case they can win.

 

What about the 'idiot salesman' angle of the argument?

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post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Blackberry has "App World"
Google has "Google Play" (formerly "Android Market")
Microsoft has "Marketplace"
Apple has "App Store"
Amazon has "Appstore"

And people wonder why Apple is mad? Use the exact same term as Apple, but take out the space between "App" and "store". Come on, Amazon, everyone else has unique names - you can't even spend 5 minutes to come up with your own?

Well explained. I suspect if it were 'Amazon's Apps' or 'Apps from Amazon' etc. Apple would not have a problem but as you say, Appstore ... really?
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post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


I honestly think you haven't honestly thought that through.

 

Honestly I thought you would realize it was a joke.  :-)

post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hungover View Post

 Are you suggesting that Apple owners are so dumb that they would purchase apps in the Amazon Appstore?

If not then what is the problem?

Although I agree with you, I wouldn't be surprised if a few let's say not too bright people have tried. You know the type that'll type Google.com in their browser's address bar and then in Google's search bar type yahoo.com.
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post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

Apple and their lawsuits.. burning bridges everywhere they go.

 

They're breaking apart from the pack, creating their own ecosystem. This is called differentiation. And it's a rare very, very valuable commodity these days, but one that exists in abundance at Apple. 

 

When you've got over $100 billion in cash, you have the luxury of charting your own destiny, and (evidently) everyone else's. What they couldn't do in the 90s (and did the wrong way), they're doing now. And it's paying off. 

 

All Apple needs to keep doing is one thing: bringing great products to market that delight consumers. They've been doing that for at least over a decade, with no end in sight.

post #37 of 71

What some people seem to be forgetting is that with trademarks, you are required to aggressively defend them, so Apple is essentially required to sue anyone who might be infringing their trademark, or risk losing it.

 

But, Amazon is clearly infringing the "APP STORE" trademark by using "Appstore" as part of the name of their store. The App Store (Apple's) is frequently referred to as the Apple App Store, and Amazon Appstore sounds like exactly the same thing, just from Amazon instead of Apple. Removing a space from the trademark doesn't make it magically not confusing. And Amazon wants it to be confusing so everyone thinks it's just like Apple's App Store. And it's not a generic term at all, it only seems that way because The App Store seems like it's always been there and that we've always had 'apps', but that's not an accurate representation of history.

 

If we took it the other way around, and they were inserting a space, it would be just the same. If Dunkin Donuts opened a set of stores called Dunkin Donuts Star Bucks, does anyone not think that there would be confusion? Does anyone not think the public would think it was some sort of joint venture between Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks? Does anyone not think that Starbucks would have it's lawyers filing suit before the end of the day?

post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Of course not. It's still being processed. It takes a few years, in case you didn't know.

---

(I was right in #5 above about more jumping in soon.....)

 

Not to mention Amazon has filed several briefs slowing the process, even though they know the term, Appstore, was not on their radar until Apple made it successful.

post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shidell View Post

Apple and their lawsuits.. burning bridges everywhere they go.

 

Does that include the bridge between you and this site?

 

See ya.

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post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfkindc View Post

Perfect example of how trademarks and patents have gotten out of control. There is nothing on an iPad that wasn't on star trek 20 years ago. App store is too generic. Why not trademark "Department Store" or even the Apple "Retail Store?"

 

How about Amazon or Windows?

 

I might set up a bookstore that sells books about South American rivers, I'll call it the Amazon bookstore.

 

Obviously that shouldn't be a problem.

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