It's Apple vs. Amazon Over "Appstore"

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It's Apple vs. Amazon Over "Appstore"

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It's King Kong Bundy versus Andre the Giant all over again, as Apple sues Amazon for using the name "Appstore" for its mobile application portal.

The App Store is like the Kleenex of the mobile market. Not just because most of what comes out of it gets used once and thrown away, but because for the general public it's evolved from a brand to a generic name for something used to wipe the gunk out of your schnoz or, in this case, a place to buy mobile applications. But App Store, like Kleenex, remains a trademark nonetheless, and Apple isn't too happy about Amazon's use of the slightly-modified term "Appstore" as the name for its own app store for Android.

See? I can't even describe it without calling it an "app store." But making it official goes a little too far for Apple's liking, so it filed a lawsuit against Amazon seeking an injunction against its use of the Appstore name as well as unspecified damages. The company says Amazon is infringing upon its App Store trademark in a way that will "confuse and mislead customers," and claims that Amazon also intends to use the name for a planned mobile application download service.

Apple also claimed that Amazon has "unlawfully used the App Store mark to solicit software developers throughout the United States," a statement perhaps fueled by the front-and-center presence of Angry Birds Rio, an Amazon-exclusive version of the massively popular iPhone game.

Apple's application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register App Store was approved last year but Microsoft filed an appeal of that decision, saying the term is "too generic" to be trademarked. That matter is still working its way through the USPTO appeals process.

Source: Bloomberg

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"App store" as in "store for applications?" Please tell me you cannot actually trademark something like that...
Oh wait, we're in the insane realm of patents and frivolous lawsuits over them, so I hereby lay claim to breathing and the action thereof. Are you breathing? Well, give me some fucking money!

I can kind of see what Apple was going for with their 'App' store. Maybe Amazon can just drop a 'p', thus making the 'Ap' Store.

That's unlikely to happen though. Being completely out of the loop though (as I have neither an ipad/phone/pod-touch or anything powered by Droid) don't both app stores offer mostly the same things anyway? My question is probably comparable to asking if the Playstation Network is basically the same as the Xbox Live Marketplace...please don't burn me too badly

thethingthatlurks:
"App store" as in "store for applications?" Please tell me you cannot actually trademark something like that...
Oh wait, we're in the insane realm of patents and frivolous lawsuits over them, so I hereby lay claim to breathing and the action thereof. Are you breathing? Well, give me some fucking money!

I patented the laying of claims and anything associated with them.

Someone's gettin' their asses sued!

It's pathetic. Nuff said.

Amazon should be joining Microsoft in that appeal, because nobody should be able to trademark a shortened version of "application store". Apple is completely, 100% in the wrong here.

That or I'm going to go patent lots of shortened versions of things. Nobody gets to say "LOL" anymore without giving me a dollar; instead you must say "laughing out loud" because I own the shorthand. I'm also going to get my hands on "MM" because there are so many people I can sue with that. Go after Nintendo for Majora's Mask, get Media Molecule too, and hey Escapist, you'd better fix those March Mayhem logos... ;)

Also, I've never heard of "Kleenex" being used to describe all tissues. I just call them tissues, and so does everyone else I've ever encountered. Now band-aid, that one everyone does.

You know what, we have too many lawyers around these days...

OH COME ON
Once a word has entered the collective vocabulary (i never get to say things like that) it should be fair game, because everyone knows what it is and they all sell the same thing.

GO AWAY APPLE
(this is why everyone hates apple)

Nah, not generic at all. Apple should win this one.

I always wondered what all those lawyers did in their spare time.. there are only so many sensible cases to take afterall, and since we get more lawyers in the world all the time and people are living longer, the surplus gets to spend its time with stupid cases like this! :D

Oh, and:

Your Nightmare:
It's pathetic. Nuff said.

I love your avatar! xD

.............wait, really.

Like. Really? App store. Surely means application store. So a shop for applications.

I'm gonna go ahead and agree that that's too vague. As in it's REALLY FUCKING STUPID.

Fucking stupid big companies trying to trademark ridiculous things. Do apple even know that "App" is short for "application"? Trying to copyright the word is stupid in my opinion.

Irridium:

thethingthatlurks:
"App store" as in "store for applications?" Please tell me you cannot actually trademark something like that...
Oh wait, we're in the insane realm of patents and frivolous lawsuits over them, so I hereby lay claim to breathing and the action thereof. Are you breathing? Well, give me some fucking money!

I patented the laying of claims and anything associated with them.

Someone's gettin' their asses sued!

Ouch, well, I'm claiming the laying of claims on the laying of claims :p
And before this turns into an endless recursive loop, I also lay claim on suing, with particular emphasis on the suing of one's ass!

thethingthatlurks:
"App store" as in "store for applications?" Please tell me you cannot actually trademark something like that...
Oh wait, we're in the insane realm of patents and frivolous lawsuits over them, so I hereby lay claim to breathing and the action thereof. Are you breathing? Well, give me some fucking money!

Has nothing to do with frivolous lawsuits. This is a fairly standard part of trademark law in the US and has been for ages.

...Besides, I patented breathing YEARS ago. See you in court. >.>

I'm pretty sure Apple trademarked "Apple" as well, and yet they're not going after orchard owners ;)

But seriously, Appstore =/= App Store; there's a full space and capitalisation in there, totally different kettle of phish, no idea what Apple's moaning about.

Hide your kids, Hide your wife

Hide your kids, Hide your wife

and hide your husband

Cuz they're suin errbody out here

bahumat42:
OH COME ON
Once a word has entered the collective vocabulary (i never get to say things like that) it should be fair game, because everyone knows what it is and they all sell the same thing.

GO AWAY APPLE
(this is why everyone hates apple)

What about Band-Aids and Coke, I think collective vocabulary is a weak excuse ageist copy right infringement. Still App store isn't much of a trade mark, its just an abbreviation. Its almost like trying to patent "auto dealer" as a name for your "automobile dealership". I don't think there going to get any where with this.

it's like the word "photoshoped", just because everyone say photoshoped to any image editing doesn't mean photo shop (tm) is free to use.

Blegh.

I hate Apple.

thethingthatlurks:

Irridium:

thethingthatlurks:
"App store" as in "store for applications?" Please tell me you cannot actually trademark something like that...
Oh wait, we're in the insane realm of patents and frivolous lawsuits over them, so I hereby lay claim to breathing and the action thereof. Are you breathing? Well, give me some fucking money!

I patented the laying of claims and anything associated with them.

Someone's gettin' their asses sued!

Ouch, well, I'm claiming the laying of claims on the laying of claims :p
And before this turns into an endless recursive loop, I also lay claim on suing, with particular emphasis on the suing of one's ass!

I feel this is relevant:

Pilkingtube:
I always wondered what all those lawyers did in their spare time.. there are only so many sensible cases to take afterall, and since we get more lawyers in the world all the time and people are living longer, the surplus gets to spend its time with stupid cases like this! :D

Oh, and:

Your Nightmare:
It's pathetic. Nuff said.

I love your avatar! xD

On a unrelated note - It's meant to be animated, but I ucked up somewhere. His mouth opens (I say mouth..I mean pancakes..) and there is loads of slime (I say slime..I mean syrup..)

Fuck you Apple. Trademarking something like "App Store" is like trademarking *insert something you say everyday*. It's a completely common term and it should not be able to be trademarked. I hope Amazon and Microsoft win their court battles, then I hope they sue Apple and win. Ugh, just another reason to hate those bastards and their bastard company.

So it's apparently okay to claim ownership over the SUN (something necessary for almost all life on Earth) but the moment Apple wants to claim ownership of the name "Appstore" for their store that sells Apps everybody throws a hissy fit?

Can I vote that Amazon changes the name to 'Ye Olde Appe Shoppe'?
Just 'cause that would be awesome.

This sounds like that Edge fiasco all over again.

Sounds like a wonderfully pointless lawsuit. That's ridiculous and Apple has to know it. I hope they get buried in court due to this being utterly moronic.

Twuny20:

Fuck you Apple.

What he said.

Raiyan 1.0:
You know what, we have too many lawyers around these days...

As a training company lawyer I take offence to this.
And as a responce I shall sue you. It's all I was taught!!

Apple. Trademarking descriptions since 1976.

They're probably just still hurting after the Carl Sagan incident. Like the wimpy little kid that tries to join the bullies.

Isn't Apple always looking to sue someone for or patent something that seems stupid? For some reason I recall them trying to patent the "Swipe motion" for touch screens.

Oligopolies at their finest. This is akin to Verizon suing Sprint for referring to their coverage area as a "Network" - absolute legal pedantry.

We can expect to see this in the gaming industry, if things eventually boil down to an Activision/EA duality. In all honesty I'm amazed that no one has bought the rights to depicting the US Army the same way EA bought rights to the NFL; I'm sure it's been attempted by now.

Perhaps Capcom should patent down-forward punch as a projectile attack input, or Nintendo should copyright nondescript blobs as protagonists. Hell, Square Enix already patented their menu UI, so it's not that far of a stretch.

Go Amazon, seriously. Amazon has been nothing but amazing to me, the best customer support of any company ever. Meanwhile, Apple's been nothing but dickish to me, so fuck Apple. Fuck Apple so hard. I hope Amazon counter-sues Apple for Apple being an unethical company full of douchebags and wins, financially crushing Apple. Fuck you, Steve Jobs.

Yeah, I'm definitely with Microsoft on this one - it's one thing when trademarked terms become synonymous with products in the public lexicon, and it's another entirely when companies trademark extremely generic terms that are just descriptions of functionality. What Apple has done would be like a shoe store trademarking "Shoe Store", and then suing competing shoe stores when they try to describe their business as "a bloody shoe store" - an "App Store" is a store for apps (or applications if you want to be precise), there is just no sane way to argue that Apple is in the right here.

App Store isn't a name, it's a bloody description.

esperandote:
it's like the word "photoshoped", just because everyone say photoshoped to any image editing doesn't mean photo shop (tm) is free to use.

No, no it isn't, not even a little bit - the term "Photoshopped" has taken the proper name of a popular/predominant graphical image manipulation program and used it as a verb to describe the output of graphical image manipulation; Apple has taken a store that sells apps and trademarked it. The difference is that there really isn't an alternate way to say what the "App Store" is - it's a bloody app store.

We only know what "Photoshopped" means because everyone knows what Photoshop is and what people use it for, the term itself is not a self-contained description of what the individual using it intends to convey by invoking the term: If I say to you "That screenshot was totally photoshopped", what I mean is "Someone has clearly manipulated that image prior to publication", i.e., that I think it has been "faked".

App Store on the other hand is its own description - how would you explain what an app store is, hmm? And that is the problem, because you wouldn't even need to - it's a store that sells apps, "App Store" isn't a proper name at all. If Apple had come up with some less descriptive phrase that simply became synonymous with the concept of an app store, trademarked that term, and Amazon was trying to use that word for their own app store, then I would be defending Apple in this dispute (as unsavory as I find such a position, given I don't much care for Apple as a company). But that's not what they did, and that's why there don't seem to be many responses in this thread supporting Apple's position - the average internet denizen might not know a lot about the legal environment of business and trademark law, but we're damn good at detecting "total bullshit", and that's precisely what Apple's trademark of "App Store" is.

lol, would they sue for the term 'application store'?

it means the same as app store...

I hope this kills both to be perfectly honest. Apple users are getting a bit too elitist, and Amazon is just making a monopoly. Or at least trying to.

... either way, its killing competition at a fast rate.

Haha, what bunk. If you need any more reason to not like Apple, you are clearly mentally deficient. Apple should simply call their AppleStore, instead of AppStore. Then, there is no confusion. On Android based phones, they use App Market, that is practically the same thing. A store and a market are synonyms when talking about nouns. Not to mention, is there really any confusion on this topic? I don't think of Apple when I think of the word App, I think of of applications. Anyone who does are pretty much lemmings and should run to the nearest cliff and jump off.

ZombieGenesis:

Raiyan 1.0:
You know what, we have too many lawyers around these days...

As a training company lawyer I take offence to this.
And as a responce I shall sue you. It's all I was taught!!

Oh shit! Now I've to call my lawyer while that sumbitch is busy naming his yacht after me 'cause he bought it with my goddamned bottle caps! Arrggghhh!

PS: I hope you're still in the self-deprecatory-humor mode, for what I say is in jest. Unlike you, who thinks all lawyers are money-grabbing suing machines. Such stereotyping! You are guilty of prejudice... against yourself. Now you can proceed to sue yourself for... umm... err... hey, you're the lawyer! You figure it out!

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