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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,254member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 69
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 69
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 69
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,215member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 69
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


    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)

  • Reply 6 of 69
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 69

    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".

  • Reply 8 of 69
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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. 

  • Reply 9 of 69
    irelandireland Posts: 17,588member
    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!
  • Reply 10 of 69
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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

  • Reply 11 of 69
    irelandireland Posts: 17,588member
    realwarder wrote: »

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

    http://bit.ly/qTUy2t
  • Reply 12 of 69
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member


    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.

  • Reply 13 of 69
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,131member
    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).
  • Reply 14 of 69
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    kdarling wrote: »
    [*] 2008 Dec - Salesforce abandons trademark. (It was NOT transferred to Apple.)

    So I guess their own CEO is mistaken, huh? :no:
  • Reply 15 of 69

    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...

  • Reply 16 of 69
    irelandireland Posts: 17,588member
    So I guess their own CEO is mistaken, huh? :no:

    Textbook Tallest.
  • Reply 17 of 69
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    macfandave wrote: »
    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.
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 69


    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.


     


    image


     


    Next case...


     


    Judge Surge.

  • Reply 19 of 69
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post



    So I guess their own CEO is mistaken, huh? image


     


    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.

  • Reply 20 of 69
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member


    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.

Sign In or Register to comment.