Two things usually happen when a familiar technology innovation is modified and launched as something new these days. First, there's a big roll-out party/press event. Second, there's an even bigger lawsuit filed by a competitor that claims it's been copied. So on day one of Amazon's big debut of its Android-based "Appstore," Apple just crossed off the second item on the list with a fatty lawsuit over Amazon's use of that very term.
Reuters reports today that Apple has sued Amazon to stop them from using "Appstore" to describe its, well, app store. Ahead of the debut, in fact, Amazon, which had previously planned to use "App Store," simply deleted the space between App and Store, changing the name to "Appstore."
Obviously, Apple was unimpressed by the subtle change.
Into the fray comes Microsoft, which has long fought Apple's previous attempts to trademark the term App Store.
Microsoft, however, has somewhat conceded the "App" fight for now, using the term "Windows Marketplace for Mobile" to describe its application store--a name that seems right in line with Microsoft's habit of using excruciatingly long and clunky names for its products and services.
Other companies have avoided the App Store moniker as well. Google uses "Android Market" and "Chrome Web Store." Blackberry uses "App World" and Nokia uses "Ovi Store"--whatever an "Ovi" is.
Amazon's use of Appstore seems to be the most daring venture into Apple's nomenclature territory, and it's no surprise Apple is suing, given that trademark lawsuits are one of the principal products produced by major technology companies these days.
Deciding whether the word "App" is now common enough to keep it from being copyrighted will be haggled over in courts for months, possibly years to follow.
In the meantime, folks can get Angry Birds for free on the Appstore, which is more than can be said for the App Store.