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Software The Courts Apple

Apple Sues Amazon.com Over App Store Trademark 285

tekgoblin writes "Apple is suing Amazon.com over the use of Apple's trademarked App Store name in their mobile software developer program. Apple filed the suit back on March 18th, which detailed the trademark infringement and unfair competition which Apple felt was happening. Apple's statement in the suit reads: 'Amazon has begun improperly using Apple's App Store mark in connection with Amazon's mobile software developer program.' Apple also said, 'We've asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers.'"
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Apple Sues Amazon.com Over App Store Trademark

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  • Re:App is generic (Score:4, Informative)

    by SudoGhost ( 1779150 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @10:45PM (#35567952)
    Windows is a generic term in certain uses. You can call the underlying x window system a 'window', and multiples of it 'windows'. You cannot call your OS Windows. That's not the same. You're comparing Apples and Oranges (pardon my pun).
  • Re:Appholes (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 21, 2011 @10:59PM (#35568042)

    Only problem is NeXT ( and Apple ) were the first company to call their binaries "Apps" officially.
    Previously we called them "exe"s and "binaries" and "programs"... and the Mac called themmm...... Applications!
    Prior to this, "applications" were not considered things in themselves, but a description of what you used the program for.

    And then some years later, NeXt called their binaries .app and referred to them as "Apps" .

    Sure it's a natural abbreviation ... but no one really called it that before Apple/NeXT.

    ( And even if you don't buy this argument, if you don't think tacking a random word onto the end or beginning of another word makes for a defendable trademark, you need to talk to "CDbaby", "e-bay", "Facebook", or "Word", "powerpoint"... you get the picture.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 21, 2011 @11:03PM (#35568066)

    Correction: Microsoft Windows[TM].

    There is a subtle distinction, can you spot it?

    Too bad Apple didn't trademark "Apple App Store"...

  • Re:Appholes (Score:4, Informative)

    by dwywit ( 1109409 ) on Monday March 21, 2011 @11:09PM (#35568108)
    Actually, "application" has been used for some time to differentiate user-type software, from operating system-type software - I heard it used in that context back in the eighties, when I first started messing around with an AS/400.
  • Re:Oh dear (Score:1, Informative)

    by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Monday March 21, 2011 @11:14PM (#35568144) Homepage Journal

    'Trademark law states that any potential mark violations must be enforced."

    Too bad Apple is SEVERAL years late to the game.

    http://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/press-releases/2006/12/061212-1.jsp [salesforce.com]

    Trademark made INVALID as it has existed in that particular ecosystem well before Apple filed.

    Hey, Jobs, tell your lawyers to back off before I fuck up yet a FOURTH lawsuit for you in my amicus.

  • Re:Appholes (Score:4, Informative)

    by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:10AM (#35568402)

    The Apple App Store opened in March 2008. If you do an Internet search for the term "App Store" prior to that you have a very hard time finding any legitimate results. (Google really needs to fix their date search, and Bing and Yahoo! were worse) I didn't find any, but going through lots of results manually is problematic. It is entirely possible that they actually did coin the term - so yes, seriously.

    Bullshit. [salesforce.com]

  • by Raenex ( 947668 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:15AM (#35568416)

    I thought the trademark was "Microsoft Windows", not "Windows"

    Microsoft sued Lindows over being similar to "Windows". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_v._Lindows [wikipedia.org] They ended up losing some early battles in court and then bought them out.

    They've also bullied/bribed other projects like wxWindows (now wxWidgets). http://www.wxwindows.org/about/name.htm [wxwindows.org]

    Those are just the ones I know about off the top of my head.

  • Re:Oh dear (Score:5, Informative)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:24AM (#35568464)

    Unfortunately, you're confused between patents and trademarks. Prior art can make patents invalid after being granted. But prior use does not make trademarks invalid once they've been granted.

    The prior use of "AppStore" as an unregistered trademark by SalesForce.com gives SalesForce.com the right to continue using the mark. But it doesn't invalidate Apples's registered trademark, nor does it in any way give Amazon the right to use the mark.

  • Re:Rediculous (Score:5, Informative)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @12:56AM (#35568658)

    But Salesforce.com didn't register it as a trademark. The prior use means that Salesforce.com can continue using "AppStore" as a mark. But it doesn't invalidate Apple's registered trademark. Apple still has the right (and the duty if they want to keep their trademark live) to prevent companies other than Salesforce.com using the mark.

  • Re:Oh dear (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 22, 2011 @01:55AM (#35568952)

    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4010:1s4tir.3.1 [uspto.gov]

    Owner (APPLICANT) salesforce.com, inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE The Landmark @ One Market Street #300 San Francisco CALIFORNIA 94105

    Filing Date June 14, 2006
    Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
    Abandonment Date December 5, 2008

    Sorry, your example did not enforce their mark and lost it.

    While Apple can not sue salesforce for their use of AppStore, salesforce no longer counts as prior usage in the eyes of the trademark office.

    Apple suing Amazon right now is a requirement if Apple does not want their current existing active mark to do the same.

    There was even an older mark on the term back in 1998, abandoned in 2000.
    http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4010:1s4tir.3.2 [uspto.gov]

    But bad news, that doesn't count either :P

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