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Judge denies Apple request for Amazon injunction

updated 11:30 pm EDT, Wed July 6, 2011

Amazon can continue to use 'Appstore' for now

A U.S. District Court judge has denied Apple's preliminary injunction against Amazon to immediately stop them using the "App Store" name in the short term, setting a trial date in October of next year to settle the issue. Apple had sought to quickly prevent Amazon from using the "App Store" name until the trademark dispute is settled, but will now be able to continue using the term for the next 16 months -- a move that will undoubtedly undermine Apple's claims.

Apple's argument is that the term "App Store" is both trademarked and will cause customers to be "confused and mislead" about the nature, connection to Apple and quality of other establishments that also use the name. Amazon's counter-argument has been that "App Store" is such a generic term that it cannot be trademarked, an argument that the judge also disagreed with. While not agreeing that the term is "purely" generic, Judge Phyllis Hamilton also said that Apple had not clearly established "a likelihood of confusion" in its examples so far.

Judge Hamilton had previously cast doubt that Apple would be able to eventually triumph over Amazon on the matter. Apple had initially asked Amazon multiple times to refrain from using the term, fearing consumer confusion, but filed a trademark lawsuit in March after Amazon "improperly" used the App Store name -- which Amazon spells as "Appstore" -- to solicit software developers. Amazon had asked for a dismissal of the lawsuit, which was also denied.

Amazon has recently begun offering downloadable versions of Mac software, though it has been careful not to use the "Appstore" name in association with those products. The Amazon "Appstore" is currently only for Android software, which could be argued as bolstering Apple's case.

Other companies, including Google itself, have come up with other names for their own app storefronts, including Blackberry's App World, the Android Market and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

The trial is set for October 2012 in the Northern District of California.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    As expected

    Did anyone really think Apple's injunction request would work?

  1. imNat-imadouche

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2011


    give it up apple

    The only people who will be confused are Apple users. Enough said >:)

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Apple won't be able to coerce

    Amazon to stop using the term "App Store". That's a lost cause. Time to move on.

  1. facebook_Timothy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    Judging by the voting here...

    ...looks like Apple fanboys have let their feeling be known. Apple will lose this one. Their iron grip is starting to rust. The shine was finally worn off of Cupertino's golden fruit.

  1. malax

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2006


    The speedy wheels of justice

    Court date 15 months from now? That should be reason enough for Apple to just drop the issue. It wasn't very important anyway; the odds were long against them winning; and 15 months from now the term "app store" will be even more generic than it already is.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: The speedy wheels of justice

    What can you expect? There's probably a whole year's worth of cases just like this one, taking up precious court time.

    And, seriously, you know if the judge said "Case to begin July 20th" both sets of lawyers would be asking for continuances and delays, as they need time to collect their thoughts, subpoena people for depositions, discovery, etc, etc, etc.

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