A California federal judge has dismissed part of an Apple complaint that accused Amazon of violating a trademark on the name “App Store.” The iPhone-maker filed suit in March 2011 following the launch of Amazon’s “Appstore,” alleging that the similar name would confuse consumers, misleading them to believe that Amazon’s Android-based store was somehow related to or had the qualities of Apple’s iOS-based marketplace.
Apple applied for a trademark on the “App Store” name in 2008 after shipping its second smartphone and the request was approved in 2011. However, the term “app” has since become a standard word for mobile applications and it’s even used to describe small desktop programs sometimes, while “store” is about as common as words get. With that being the case, Amazon quickly called shenanigans on Apple’s trademark.
To prove its point, Amazon noted a call in which the late Steve Jobs repeatedly referred to apps and app stores in a generic way:
So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone. — Steve Jobs in fall 2010
US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton sided with Amazon on the matter, saying that she couldn’t find any support for the claim that Amazon has expressly implied that its Appstore for Android has anything to do with Apple’s App Store. Hamilton only ruled on Amazon’s request to scrap Apple’s assertion that the e-tailer’s “Appstore” is false advertising. A trial is scheduled for August 19 to cover the rest of the suit, which you can read below.