As we've reported before, Apple thinks the term "Appstore," "App Store," or any combination thereof is solely owned by Apple. Amazon thinks otherwise, and is in the midst of getting sued by Steve Jobs' legal wolves for calling its Android online market an "Appstore."
So what do the courts have to say about all this?For now at least, the courts are saying that Apple needs to shut it.
Reuters reports today that an injunction filed by Apple that would have barred Amazon from using the term "Appstore" has been denied by a judge.
The court documents, which you can read here, say the following, among other things:
Apple did have substantially exclusive use of "App Store" when it launched its service a little over three years ago, but the term appears to have been used more widely by other companies as time has passed. The mark does appear to enjoy widespread recognition, but it is not clear from the evidence whether it is recognition as a trademark or recognition as a descriptive term. Moreover, there is no evidence that Amazon intended to create an association between its Android apps and Apple's apps, and there is no evidence of actual association.
Apple's argument in protecting the word "Appstore" is that allowing other companies to use the word would "confuse and mislead customers."
Lord knows when most people think of a store that sells apps, "Appstore" is quite befuddling.