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Apple demands Amazon executive in Amazon Appstore case

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Thu July 26, 2012

Insists 'for Android' deliberately removed from marketing

As a part of an ongoing lawsuit, Apple is demanding that Amazon provide an executive to testify about the removal of the word "for Android" from some Amazon Appstore marketing, court documents show. In March 2011 Apple sued Amazon, claiming that the latter was intentionally trying to confuse people by using a name similar to Apple's own App Store. The Apple legal team says that "evidence suggesting that the name of Amazon's Service is actually 'Amazon Appstore,' or at least that Amazon has consciously chosen to cease or minimize the use of 'for Android' with its mark, is highly relevant to Apple's offensive case."

"Amazon has steadfastly refused to produce documents and information regarding the use of 'for Android' in connection with its service," Apple writes. "Amazon has failed 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..."

Amazon's main defense has been that the term "app store" is generic. The inclusion of "for Android" in some cases could theoretically imply, however, that Amazon has to make it clear to people that its storefront has nothing to do with Apple's. Alternately, it may just be indicating which mobile platform the Appstore is intended for.

Apple's case is believed to be in a weak position. The company has for example been stalled by Microsoft, HTC, Sony, and Nokia in its attempt to trademark the term "app store." Amazon and others have noted that "app" was a word of the year in 2010, and that even former Apple CEO Steve Jobs used the term "app store" generically to refer to options from competitors.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Zanziboy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-27-08

    I do not agree that Steve Jobs using "app store" to refer to competitors degrades Apple's claim to "App Store". The reasoning is Steve was referring to other stores by using Apple's term for convenience instead of naming each of their stores by name.

    People often use the trademark xerox for xerographic copy (or kleenex for cosmetic paper tissue) as generic terms. Casual use does not degrade the trademark claim or mean the trademarks are not valid. Instead, they often are indicators of marketshare or historical invention.

    Apple was awarded the "App Store" trademark by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2010 for it's intended use and has every right to defend it.

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