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Amazon Sued By Apple Over Appstore Trademark

March 22, 2011

A complaint was filed by Apple Inc. on March 18 in northern California’s federal court, accusing Amazon.com Inc. of trademark infringement and unfair competition, reports Bloomberg News. It asked for a court order to stop Amazon from using the Appstore name for its mobile-software download service.

There have been more than 10 billion downloads of software programs from Apple’s App Store by users of iPhones, iPods and iPads, since the program began in 2008, the complaint states. These programs have been developed by Apple and third-party developers.

According to the lawsuit, Amazon only recently began using the Appstore description at the beginning of this year. The company rolled out its version of Angry Birds Rio, which is similar in name to one of Apple’s most popular programs in the Apple App Store, Angry Birds.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved Apple’s application to register App Store as a trademark in the United States. However, the registration is being brought before the trademark appeal board by Microsoft Corp., who has opposed the registration, the court filings stated.

Apple’s lawsuit indicated that it has contacted Amazon at least three times to demand that it cease and desist using the Appstore name, but Amazon did not “provide a substantive response.”

Kristin Huguet, a spokesperson for Apple, says, “We’ve asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers.”

Amazon did not immediately respond for a comment, but late yesterday, its spokesperson, Mary Osako, said, “We have a long standing practice of not commenting on pending litigation.”

The case can be found in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California in Apple Inc. v Amazon.com Inc, 11-1327.

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