June 23, 2011

Apple And Amazon At Odds Over Appstore Name

The high-profile maker of iPhones and iPad tablets has filed a lawsuit against Amazon over the name Appstore that Amazon is using for its upcoming application retail environment.

Apple is claiming that use of the name would irreparably harm the value of its own Appstore as consumers could confuse the two services, Reuters is reporting. Apple may face an uphill battle however through the trademark lawsuit a US judge indicated at a hearing on Wednesday.

US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, who is presiding over Apple's case against Amazon, said she'll "probably" deny Apple's motion that seeks to bar the web retailer from using the "Appstore" name, CNET News reports.

The reasoning, Hamilton explained during a hearing today, was that Apple's primary argument of the store's name confusing customers lacked evidence. "I'm troubled by the showing that you've made so far, but that's where you're likely not to prevail at this early juncture," Hamilton said during the hearing.

In court filings, Apple compared its Appstore brand to "honeybaked ham," a product made by a Michigan company. Appstore has come to be identified by consumers as an Apple service selling downloadable programs for the iPhone and other company devices.

Apple has marketed its Appstore to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, advertising the service since it was launched in 2008, and will suffer irreparable damage by associations with Amazon's Appstore service.

Apple claims that the Amazon service provides fewer safeguards against viruses and data security issues, the company's filings said.

Amazon responded in April by countersuing Apple, saying that "Appstore" is too generic, and it wanted Apple's case dismissed. In a court filing last month, Apple fired back, saying that it "denies that the mark Appstore is generic and, on that basis, denies that the Amazon Appstore for Android service is an "Ëœapp store.'"


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