or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple, Amazon can't settle 'Appstore' issue as August trial looms
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple, Amazon can't settle 'Appstore' issue as August trial looms

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
Discussions between Apple and Amazon have so far failed to resolve the two companies' dispute over Amazon's use of the term "Appstore," and the tech giants appear more likely than ever to face each other in court come August.

amazon


Lawyers for the two firms have been in discussions to resolve the dispute since a judge ordered them to do so in January. Those discussions include a 45-minute phone call on June 14 and an all-day meeting on May 1.

Involved in the talks have been B.J. Watrous, Apple's chief intellectual property attorney, and Andrew DeVore, Amazon's assistant general counsel. Talks between the parties have so far proved unfruitful.

At issue is Amazon's use of the term Appstore, which Apple says is too close its own App Store. Apple filed suit in 2011, asserting that Amazon's term violated Apple's trademark.

Amazon argued that the term had become generic, saying that it only signifies a digital repository for apps and doesn't specifically call Apple to mind. Other companies, including Microsoft, have petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to block Apple's attempts to secure a trademark on the term.

With the matter unresolved so far, it appears likely that the conflict will eventually be settled in court. A trial has been set for August 19.
post #2 of 70
I'd like to see anything called AppStore prior to Apple's use of it. I stand by to be shown I am wrong in thinking Apple coined the name as used.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #3 of 70
Guess what, Amazon, a generalized trademark is still a trademark. The people can call generic facial tissues Kleenex until they're blue in the face, but no-one making tissues can. Likewise, consumers can call digital marketplaces "App Stores", but Amazon can't, because Apple invented and trademarked the term as the name of their own.
post #4 of 70
From the company that steadfastly fought over (and won the battle for) the IP for 'one click', it is a bit hilarious -- and hypocritical -- to say the least.
post #5 of 70
Had become generic they say. Part of that in an legal sense is due to folks using it and the owner not saying squat.

Apple has said, and sued. So the only way this term has 'become generic' is the courts not agreeing to force Amazon to stop until the trial was over. That can't be held against Apple as failure to protect.

Prior to Apple using the term it didn't exist so how in a general sense was it generic.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #6 of 70

Apple fighting with Idiots (amazon) :

1. Can't really fight because of self dignity

2. Can't really lose because of self dignity.

 

Idiots fight with Big Guys (Apple):

1. Win: Wow. I won a big guy (good way or bad way)

2. Lose: Hhhhmm, they are big. So they won. Increases your stature (idiots think like that)

post #7 of 70
It is so obvious that Amazon ripped off Apple that any other verdict would just reveal how broken our "justice system" is.

I hope that the correct finding will include a painful financial penalty to punish Amazon for their hubris in thinking they are above the law.
post #8 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I'd like to see anything called AppStore prior to Apple's use of it. I stand by to be shown I am wrong in thinking Apple coined the name as used.


Saleforce.com (2006) and Sage Networks (1998) filed for trademarks on "appstore" before Apple made filed for "app store".

post #9 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

From the company that steadfastly fought over (and won the battle for) the IP for 'one click', it is a bit hilarious -- and hypocritical -- to say the least.

 

 

Yes, and Apple actually pays Amazon a licensing fee to use that patent. Apple could have easily fought that patent. 

post #10 of 70
Here's one case I hope Apple really wins. Fucking ass wipes couldn't come up with a name for their store. They could have named it anything. App Shop. Anything!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #11 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


Saleforce.com (2006) and Sage Networks (1998) filed for trademarks on "appstore" before Apple made filed for "app store".

 

Trademarks have to actually be used to be protected. According to the Trademarks Office, both marks were abandoned by those applicants. Moreover, the Salesforce CEO and Jobs were good friends. The Salesforce CEO gifted Apple the App Store the mark

post #12 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


Saleforce.com (2006) and Sage Networks (1998) filed for trademarks on "appstore" before Apple made filed for "app store".

http://bit.ly/qTUy2t
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #13 of 70

A good opportunity to review the timeline:

 

  • 2006 xxx - Salesforce applies for trademark on "AppStore".
  •  
  • 2008 Jul -  Apple applies for trademark on "App Store".
  • 2008 Aug - Salesforce application approved, pending any opposition.
  • 2008 Nov - Apple files opposition to Salesforce trademark.
  • 2008 Dec - Salesforce abandons trademark. (It was NOT transferred to Apple.)
  •  
  • 2009 Mar - USPTO turns down App Store as being "merely descriptive."
  • 2009 Sep - Apple refiles, this time claiming acquired distinctiveness.
  • 2009 Dec - USPTO approves Apple, pending any opposition.
  •  
  • 2010 Jul - Microsoft files opposition.
  •  
  • 2011 Mar - Apple sues Amazon, claiming "App Store" is not generic.
  • 2011 Jul - Tim Cook refers to "app stores" in the generic sense in a quarterly call.

 

Because of the Microsoft opposition, Apple's final trademark registration is still pending.  With Apple and Microsoft consent, the USPTO has deferred their trademark decision until the Amazon trial is over.

post #14 of 70
The term "killer app" was a fairly popular phrase in tech before to the term "app" came to be accepted by the general public as "the name" to describe small digital device applications. Apple took that insider term and popularized it with the public, but Apple did not invent it (and I obviously say this from a pro-Apple point of view).

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #15 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

[*] 2008 Dec - Salesforce abandons trademark. (It was NOT transferred to Apple.)

So I guess their own CEO is mistaken, huh? 1oyvey.gif
post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

 

Trademarks have to actually be used to be protected. According to the Trademarks Office, both marks were abandoned by those applicants. Moreover, the Salesforce CEO and Jobs were good friends. The Salesforce CEO gifted Apple the App Store the mark


I was answering the question, not making any statement on current validity...

post #17 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So I guess their own CEO is mistaken, huh? 1oyvey.gif

Textbook Tallest.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
post #18 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

It is so obvious that Amazon ripped off Apple that any other verdict would just reveal how broken our "justice system" is.

I hope that the correct finding will include a painful financial penalty to punish Amazon for their hubris in thinking they are above the law.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

At issue is Amazon's use of the term Appstore, which Apple says is too close its own App Store.
In principle I agree though it obviously is not a clear cut case.
post #19 of 70

I'll save everyone a fortune.

 

Just call it "AMPSTORE" and be done with it. Nobody has the name, you can register it now Amazon and you can all go home for the evening.

 

There now, I'll take 50% for my favorite charity of whatever those fat-cat lawyers were going to take in lieu of my time and uh, creative prowess.

 

lol.gif

 

Next case...

 

Judge Surge.

post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So I guess their own CEO is mistaken, huh? 1oyvey.gif

 

Reading comprehension is important.  He never said he actually gave it away.  He said he was willing to.   

 

Mr. Benioff said, “and I went up to (Jobs) and said, ‘I have a gift for you. I’m going to give you the trademark and the URL because of the help you gave me in 2003.’”

 

Perhaps Jobs ignored him.  Perhaps Apple's lawyers thought they needed a history of fighting for the mark.  Whatever the reason, Apple filed an opposition anyway.

 

My source is the USPTO, not some blog site or internet myth.  If you're not too lazy, you can check it yourself.

post #21 of 70

Amazon is running a store that sells apps. Perhaps US law differs greatly from English law but the phrase definitely falls foul of what's unacceptable as a trademark over here.

post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Here's one case I hope Apple really wins. Fucking ass wipes couldn't come up with a name for their store. They could have named it anything. App Shop. Anything!

Agreed.

Steam Store
Xbox Live Arcade
PlayStation Store
Google Play
Windows Marketplace

All original names. All NOT "App Store"

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


Saleforce.com (2006) and Sage Networks (1998) filed for trademarks on "appstore" before Apple made filed for "app store".

 

I think the fact that Apple basically invented the term "App" and that it was in use exclusively in the NeXT/Apple community for years before any "outsiders" ever even heard of it or used it should be the trump card in Apple's favour.  

 

Also, Amazon's argument is that it was a term in general use before Apple's app store and thus common and "generic."  The existence of a couple of examples of obscure use of the term doesn't actually prove that point.  for Amazon to prove it's point, the term would have to be in wide-spread use to the point of ubiquity.  

post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Amazon is running a store that sells apps. Perhaps US law differs greatly from English law but the phrase definitely falls foul of what's unacceptable as a trademark over here.

 

You are forgetting that before Apple became popular, we mostly didn't use the term "apps" for computer programs.  

 

For most of the history of computers, Windows dominated and the term "executable" was the generic term (because *.EXE).  Sometimes people would call them "software applications" and shorten that to "applications," and I'm sure that occasionally some hipster used the term "apps," but the term itself came out of the NeXT/Apple community. (because *.APP)

 

Everyone just has a short memory.  "Apps" is a very recently popular term but one that has a long (almost exclusive) history with Apple.   

post #25 of 70
Yes it's a generic term (like "Shoe Store" or "Car Dealership") and stupid to claim the rights to it but is it really worth spending a ton of time and money to fight about it? Amazon should really just change the name of their app store and be done with it. It seems like they're not too bright about picking which battles to fight.
post #26 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

You are forgetting that before Apple became popular, we mostly didn't use the term "apps" for computer programs.  

For most of the history of computers, Windows dominated and the term "executable" was the generic term (because *.EXE).  Sometimes people would call them "software applications" and shorten that to "applications," and I'm sure that occasionally some hipster used the term "apps," but the term itself came out of the NeXT/Apple community. (because *.APP)

Everyone just has a short memory.  "Apps" is a very recently popular term but one that has a long (almost exclusive) history with Apple.   

One of the earliest references to "apps" was in the old Frameworks II dating back to 1985. I recall mentions that "apps" wasn't an uncommon term in the developer community earlier than that, though I'm certainly not talking from personal experience!
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #27 of 70
In my opinion, the very fact that Amazon decided to call the "Amazon Appstore (one word)" strikes me as a purposeful attempt to try to skate around Apple's trademark. Which in my view acknowledges the validity. If they truly felt a principled stand was necessary, why not just call it the "Amazon App Store"?

The point of Amazon's name isn't to be descriptive, it's a clearly an attempt to ride the coattails of success. Which is what trademarks are supposed to prevent. Amazon is arguing a technicality, but are violating the spirit of the law.

The term "App Store" is/was synonymous with Apple, and Apple took an uncommonly used term and added all the value into it. Should Amazon be allowed to reap what it didn't sow?

My opinion at least.
post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


 

Everyone just has a short memory.  "Apps" is a very recently popular term but one that has a long (almost exclusive) history with Apple.   

 

The term 'apps' is a very old term.  Here is an example back in 1982.

post #29 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Agreed.

Steam Store
Xbox Live Arcade
PlayStation Store
Google Play
Windows Marketplace

All original names. All NOT "App Store"

Do a Google Search for "Windows appstore" and look at the first sponsored listing. It's from Microsoft themselves.
"Windows® 8 App Store - Windows.microsoft.com‎"
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #30 of 70

Here's an interesting tidbit.... in Apple's Application for Trademark they referenced Prior Registrations that include "The Apple Store" and "Apple Store" trademarks. So I'm guessing they're arguing App Store is just an Extension of Apple Store by dropping the "le" similar to how they dropped the "The"? It could also have been grounds for fighting Salesforces trademark?


Edited by CustomTB - 6/20/13 at 11:24am
post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

The term 'apps' is a very old term.  Here is an example back in 1982.

Here's Computer World job listings from 1981:
http://books.google.com/books?id=Ux9iw6tMs6MC&lpg=PA81&vq=apps&as_pt=MAGAZINES&pg=PA81#v=snippet&q=apps&f=false

Just to be fair I do think Amazon should consider a name change for their app...
uh.... well. . .store. Whether Microsoft is willing to continue picking a fight with Apple over it? Who knows except MS.
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #32 of 70

And for those that think App Store shouldn't be trademark able because the term App was common what about... Office Depot... or Home Depot... or Windows... or even Apple.  It's as much a matter of how the words are used as it is what the words are.


Apple makes no claim for the term App or Store. The claim is putting them together... "App Store" 


Edited by CustomTB - 6/20/13 at 11:52am
post #33 of 70
Self-fulfilling prophecy: steal the name, use it all over the place; look, it's generic!
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
A.k.a. AppleHead on other forums.
Reply
post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post


I was answering the question, not making any statement on current validity...

Duly noted. However, I do not think either company acually used the Mark. 

post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

 

The term 'apps' is a very old term.  Here is an example back in 1982.

 

 

The age of the term does not matter for Trademark purposes. It also generally does not mater if somebody else used it before. 

post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Amazon is running a store that sells apps. Perhaps US law differs greatly from English law but the phrase definitely falls foul of what's unacceptable as a trademark over here.

 

 

It is running a store that sells software applications. 

post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Everyone just has a short memory.  "Apps" is a very recently popular term but one that has a long (almost exclusive) history with Apple.   

 

"Application" predates Apple.  "Killer app" predates NeXT.   And "app" had been used for handheld programs for many years before the iPhone came along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You're right that Apple is good at making things popular....e.g. white phones or phrases like "app store"... but they didn't invent white phones, and they cannot trademark a merely descriptive name.

 

Still, the same words can be trademarked if the words become exclusively associated with a certain company.   Unfortunately, even Apple's own CEO has used "app store" in a generic sense, and consumers in general were already using "app store" the same way.  

 

When a judge denied Apple's original injunction request against Amazon in early 2011, she noted that Apple is not likely to be able to prove their argument that an app store's "meaning is not inherently obvious".    Nor are they likely to prove that consumers are confused between the various app stores for different smartphones.

 

Moreover, Apple cannot prove a fear of Amazon's store encroaching on Apple's store, since only Apple can sell iPhone apps.


Edited by KDarling - 6/20/13 at 11:58am
post #38 of 70
This just in... Amazon releases the Amazon iPad. Defends name choice by saying iPad is now a generic term because it's the only way people refer to tablet computers. /s
post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

Reading comprehension is important.  He never said he actually gave it away.  He said he was willing to.   

 

Mr. Benioff said, “and I went up to (Jobs) and said, ‘I have a gift for you. I’m going to give you the trademark and the URL because of the help you gave me in 2003.’”

 

Perhaps Jobs ignored him.  Perhaps Apple's lawyers thought they needed a history of fighting for the mark.  Whatever the reason, Apple filed an opposition anyway.

 

My source is the USPTO, not some blog site or internet myth.  If you're not too lazy, you can check it yourself.

 

 

He told Jobs he was going to give Apple both the App Store trademark and domain registration. If you type in appstore.com, iTunes comes up. So, Mr. Benioff did in fact have Salesforce.com give Apple the domain.

 

Additionally, Salesforce could not not transfer the trademark to Apple because although Salesforce.com applied to have the Mark registered, that process had not been completed yet. Consequently, it was easier for Apple to oppose Salesforce's registration, which it in fact did. It is informative that Salesforce.com did not fight Apple. Instead, it abandoned the Mark leaving Apple's registration for the same Mark intact. So, Mr. Benioff in effect gave Apple the mark by 1) telling Apple it registered the mark, 2) thereby letting Apple oppose the registration, and 3) not taking action on Apple's opposition. 

post #40 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 

"Application" predates Apple.  "Killer app" predates NeXT.   And "app" had been used for handheld programs for many years before the iPhone came along.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You're right that Apple is good at making things popular....e.g. white phones or phrases like "app store"... but they didn't invent white phones, and they cannot trademark a merely descriptive name.

 

Still, the same words can be trademarked if the words become exclusively associated with a certain company.   Unfortunately, even Apple's own CEO has used "app store" in a generic sense, and consumers in general were already using "app store" the same way.  

 

When a judge denied Apple's original injunction request against Amazon in early 2011, she noted that Apple is not likely to be able to prove their argument that an app store's "meaning is not inherently obvious".    Nor are they likely to prove that consumers are confused between the various app stores for different smartphones.

 

Moreover, Apple cannot prove a fear of Amazon's store encroaching on Apple's store, since only Apple can sell iPhone apps.

 

 

Apple might lose, but the fact that the term app had been used before Apple started using it is meaningless. The issue is whether the term was generic at the time Apple started using it. I do not recall the term having widespread usage before Apple incorporated it. I am sure Apple made the term popular, which does establish consumer recognition towards Apple's use of the Mark. 

 

It will be interesting to see what happens. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Apple, Amazon can't settle 'Appstore' issue as August trial looms