updated 06:00 pm EDT, Fri June 10, 2011
Apple filing says Amazon drags down App Store name
Apple responded to Amazon's attempted dismissal of its app store lawsuit by claiming that Amazon was hurting its name. Amazon had supposedly miscast Apple's claim that Android was inferior and swung the attention back to the service. The Amazon Appstore was what was infeior, Apple said, and would "tarnish Apple's mark" if allowed to keep using the name.
Some of the alleged damage would come from the way the store operated. Since the Amazon Appstore operated outside of Android Market, it "bypasses security safeguards" and "increasing the potential harm of viruses and malware to customers" where Google's store had tighter control. The danger primarily affected rooted Android phones, which because of the nature of the hack was more vulnerable. Rooting isn't required to use the Appstore.
The filing mentioned security issues even within Android Market, and that Google has a few times had to pull malware, most recently including 30 apps last week. Malware hasn't been completely absent from the iPhone, but it has been limited to those with jailbroken phones that have also had their security loosened.
Apple went on to take advantage of Amazon's Mac download store as support, noting that the Mac Software Downloads name was proof Amazon didn't need to use the term Appstore to convey its purpose. Most suspected Amazon deliberately avoided calling it the Mac Appstore to avoid further legal problems.
Both Amazon and supporters like Microsoft have objected to Apple's App Store trademark on the grounds that the concept was too generic. They believe the wording is too literal and has been generically, including by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Most have noted that they were avoiding "app store" partly to avoid legal trouble, not out of special regard for the name in question.
Apple has always said that App Store was to some degree a play on its own name and only really entered into heavy use once the App Store reached iPhones in July 2008.