Today was supposed to be a good day for Amazon. They finally launched their much anticipated Appstore for Android in the US after many months of preparation. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by Apple, who has filed a suit for trademark infringement against the internet shopping giant for the use of the term ‘App Store.’ It seems that despite Apple asking Amazon to stop using the name, Amazon has ignored them and launched their very own Amazon Appstore. Apple was granted a trademark for the term App Store in the US recently, though this decision is heavily contested by Microsoft, and a trademark appeal board will soon decide if it’s fair for Apple to trademark the term ‘App Store’
Here’s what Apple had to say in the complaint, as quoted by Bloomberg
“Amazon has begun improperly using Apple’s App Store mark in connection with Amazon’s mobile-software developer program,”
“Amazon has unlawfully used the App Store mark to solicit software developers throughout the United States,”
The outcome of this lawsuit is likely to depend heavily on Microsoft’s appeal against the trademarking of the term ‘App Store’ and perhaps Amazon is confident that the decision will be overturned, seeing as the company went ahead with the launch. Microsoft argues that the term ‘App Store’ is generic, and should therefore be free for others to use.
I thought it had been too long without us hearing of a new lawsuit. Apple is often back and forth with various companies in a suing frenzy. Though, as it stands, Apple is legally in a position to sue, I’m undecided on whether Apple is ethically right to sue. Yes, the name is pretty similar, and a company the size of Amazon should have enough savvy in their marketing department to come up with a good enough name themselves, but it’s just a name after all. Also, I don’t think developers are naive enough to be solicited by a name. They will develop for the platform that gives them the best chance of success. I guess it’s just a matter of principal for Apple.
Do you think Apple is right to sue Amazon over the name? Let us know in the comments.