Here’s one battle the ever-litigious, cash-heavy Apple failed to win, with a federal judge in the US telling them to bog off over a claim that they owned the term, ‘App Store.’
The tech giant was seeking a preliminary injunction to stop Amazon describing their online Android app portfolio as an ‘Appstore.’
Apple filed a complaint insisting that Amazon had “unlawfully used the App Store mark to solicit software developers throughout the United States,” adding, “Amazon has begun improperly using Apple’s App Store mark in connection with Amazon’s mobile-software developer program.”
Fortunately, the US District Court for Northern California, Judge Phyllis Hamilton was having none of this nonsense and denied the request.
Here’s the full court statement:
The court finds that Apple has not established a likelihood of success on its dilution claim. First, Apple has not established that its ‘App Store’ mark is famous, in the sense of being ‘prominent’ and ‘renowned.’
The evidence does show that Apple has spent a great deal of money on advertising and publicity, and has sold/provided/furnished a large number of apps from its AppStore, and the evidence also reflects actual recognition of the ‘App Store’ mark. However, there is also evidence that the term ‘app store’ is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices.
Innovate, not sue
Let’s hope their equally ridiculous claim against Samsung – where Apple claim rights over handheld devices with rectangular shapes, rounded corners, a screen with black borders, colourful square icons etc – goes the same way and Apple get back to leading by innovation rather than trying to crush the competition with heavyweight lawyers and frivolous injunctions.