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Apple Loses Claim For False Advertising Regarding Amazon "App Store" 138

Posted by samzenpus
from the apps-for-everyone dept.
An anonymous reader writes a court has dismissed Apple's allegations that Amazon's use of the "app store" phrase constituted false advertising. "Apple's efforts to protect its intellectual property sometimes result in lawsuits that leave even the most ardent of Apple fans scratching their heads. One such suit was Apple's March 2011 lawsuit against Amazon over the retailer's use of the phrase 'app store' as used in its Amazon Appstore for Android. "
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Apple Loses Claim For False Advertising Regarding Amazon "App Store"

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  • by Tough Love (215404) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:51AM (#42473119)

    Yes. Buy Amazon. It's called "going long".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @05:14AM (#42473191)

    So with this ruling does it mean its safe for the rest of us to use App Store or will we still have to worry about going up against Apple in court?

    Situation unchanged. They still won't have a leg to stand on but they'll still be able to sure anyway and it'll still cost you a fortune.

  • Re:Consequences (Score:3, Insightful)

    by macs4all (973270) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:36AM (#42473493)

    Why are there no severe consequences for bringing these kinds of ridiculous lawsuits? Shouldn't Amazon at least get all their legal fees paid?

    IF it were actually Frivolous, that might be possible.

    However, Apple did have an "App Store" (by that name) before anyone else. The name was "catchy" enough to resonate with Consumers. IANAL, and I haven't read the decision, but I personally believe that the phrase "App Store" should have been Trade Mark-able, as it was not being used by anyone before Apple.

  • Let's face it ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thomst (1640045) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:56AM (#42473555) Homepage

    Under Steve Jobs, Apple always was litigious. Tim Cook is just continuing the same strategy - and, long-term, that's pretty much the problem Apple faces.

    What I mean by that is that Jobs, whatever you might think of him as a person, was clearly a visionary. He envisioned products for needs that people didn't even know they had, until Apple produced them - and thereby created markets that hadn't previously existed. The problem Apple faces is that Cook is not Jobs. Not even, not by a long stretch. Jobs was a conceptual thinker and a design maven. Cook is a bean counter. His vision is strictly limited to cost control and supply-line dynamics.

    So Apple now faces the same problem it had when its Board of Directors kicked Jobs to the curb in the late 1980's, and handed control of the company over to a series of bean-counting "business leaders", instead: a complete lack of product vision on the part of management led to technological stagnation and chronic laurel-resting on the part of the company. Sure, they retained their profit margins ... but their market share and total sales first stagnated, then started dwindling away. By the time the Board hired egomaniac Gilbert Amelio to run the company and HE hired Ellen Hancock (the woman who previously had single-handedly destroyed IBM's PC software division) as Apple's CTO, the best minds at Apple were diving overboard in lemming-like droves.

    And it sure looks like that same cycle of stagnation and decline is facing the latter-day Apple Corp. Sure, the i-Stuff is selling really well now - but there are NO new breakthrough products on Apple's horizon, and my bet is that there aren't going to be. Steve Jobs was pretty much the avatar of the modern Key Man Problem, and, in order to replace him, Apple's Board first would have to FIND the next Jobs, and then would have to push Tim Cook aside and entrust the company to Jobs II. My bet is that that just ain't gonna happen. Ever.

    So Apple's riding high on a mountain of cash right now, and the i-Stuff is deluging its coffers with more money every quarter - but the end of that ride is in sight, and it won't be much more than a decade before litigation is ALL the company has left - because Steve Jobs, the technological Elvis, has left the buidling for good.

  • Re:Consequences (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skapare (16644) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:57AM (#42473561) Homepage

    I don't know WHY our legal system is so faulty, but it is. NO ONE (and ONE includes any business) should be subjected to costs because someone else just happens to disagree. If someone sues YOU and in order to defend yourself, you need to hire attorney(s) at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars (which for some people can wipe them out, financially), wouldn't you want the other party to cover your costs? I most certainly would. Maybe for Amazon the multi-million dollar cost of this suit is a minor amount. But for many people, even just a ten thousand dollar lawsuit can be most of what they have.

    This is one reason lots of people don't even show up in court when sued. This is one reason the courts end up with so many bad judgments because they always favor the party that showed up.

    This is just wrong because it is very unfair.

    But even having the losing party pay doesn't always work, and it doesn't do a very good job of making things fair.

    I propose the following. Create a litigation finance pool that is covered through corporate taxes (without any loopholes). Every corporation or other business pays into this pool. When they are involved in litigation, it gets covered by this pool. Yes, I know this is so open for abuses, so it most certainly needs to be very strictly monitored. The winner gets their legal costs covered from the pool. The loser does not.

    The above applies to all cases involving a business on either side. A separate pool funded through a wider tax base is for people to people cases. This is not a perfect solution. But what we have now is certainly not perfect, either, and is actually worse.

    Frivolous lawsuits need to result in jail time.

  • by Plumpaquatsch (2701653) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:09AM (#42473613) Journal

    People like those "Occupy Wall Street" hipsters preaching about the market are like the pope preaching about sex. You must try to learn about things before you can have an opinion on them.

    Uhh. Considering the boneheaded mistakes "Wall Street" has made in the last decade, maybe its them who should finally learn their trade.

    Remember it wasn't the "Occupy Wall Street" hipsters that caused the global economy to collapse.

    But then, maybe everything went as planned, and at least some of the Wall Street people successfully played "the market" with this.

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:19AM (#42474735)

    I'm an Apple fanboy and I wasn't left scratching my head at all. And anyone with even a basic understanding of trademark law wouldn't be either. Apple has a registered trademark for "App Store" ( http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4010:2zpo7n.2.5 [uspto.gov] ). If they failed to defend that trademark in court, they are assumed to accept unauthorized usage of the trademark. Even if defending it is a longshot (which this was), they must defend it or they lose it.

    There are many examples from about 20 or 30 years ago but they are rare now because most legal departments have learned that if you want to keep your trademark protected, you are required to defend it.

    This is different from copyrights and patents. Trademarks must be defended or they become harder and harder to defend.

    So, no, I wasn't left scratching my head. I thought this lawsuit was a longshot but they were required to file it to defend their "App Store" trademark.

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