Apple Asks For Testimony Of Amazon Exec In Appstore Case
July 28, 2012

Apple Wants Amazon Executive To Testify In Appstore Case

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Apple filed legal documents last week asking a court to order an Amazon executive to testify regarding the online retailer's use of the term "app store," various media outlets reported.

On Thursday, Jeff John Roberts of GigaOm said that the filing also alleges that the Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce giant was intentionally using the term "Amazon Appstore" in relation to their Kindle Fire tablet computer in order to confuse customers. The move comes "at a time when Amazon poses a growing threat to its dominant iTunes service," he added.

Furthermore, Roberts reported that Apple is accusing Amazon of consciously minimizing or eliminating the use of "for Android" as part of its marketplace's official name, that the company has "steadfastly refused to produce documents" in relation to the use of that phrase in reference to their app store, and that they had "failed to produce a witness who can testify regarding the decision not to use 'for Android' with the Amazon Appstore Service“¦ despite clear evidence that Amazon frequently does not use 'for Android' in conjunction with its Service."

According to The Mac Observer's Jeff Gamet, the legal dispute between the two companies started back in March 2011, when Apple filed a lawsuit in the US Federal Court in Northern California accusing Amazon of illegally using "the App Store mark to solicit software developers.” They later amended the lawsuit to include accusations of false advertising, he added.

"Apple has been trying to keep other companies from using the term 'app store' because it´s associated with its own App Store for iOS apps, and now the Mac App Store, too," he said, adding that the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch manufacturer is attempting to obtain a trademark for the term "app store" but have thus far been rebuffed by the U.S. Trademark Office. "The arguments against giving Apple the trademark are that the term 'app store' is too generic, and Apple may have a hard time convincing the Trademark Office otherwise."

The legal case regarding the intellectual property rights of the term "app store" appears to be a weak one, as Amazon and others challenged by Apple have explained that "app" had actually been named a word of the year two years ago and the "app store" phrase is actually a generic term not unlike "grocery store," Roberts added.