Amazon notches partial win over Apple in trademark lawsuit

Apple alleges Amazon's "Appstore" name is too close to its own "App Store"

A U.S. federal judge ruled Wednesday that Amazon.com did not mislead consumers by calling its own applications marketplace the "Appstore," a name that Apple alleged is too similar to its own "App Store."

Apple asked Amazon three times in early 2011 to not use the Appstore name as Amazon edged closer to launching its application download service, according to a court document. Apple sued on March 18, 2011, four days before Amazon launched "Appstore for Android."

In a complaint amended in November, Apple alleged six causes of action for the lawsuit: trademark infringement and dilution under the Lanham Act, common law trademark infringement, dilution under the California Business and Professions Code, unfair competition and false advertising.

Amazon filed a motion for a partial summary judgement on Sept. 26 to dismiss the claim of false advertising, which was granted by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton. Apple had argued that Amazon's use of the term would cause people to associate its own store with "the inferior qualities of Amazon's service."

The Internet company countered that the summary judgement should be granted since Apple did not identify a single false statement made by the company in describing its Appstore for Android. Apple conceded it had no evidence of a false statement, but argued that a false statement could be implied under the Lanham Act, a federal act concerning trademark infringement.

Hamilton wrote that the mere use by Amazon of "Appstore" to describe a site for purchasing applications could not be construed as meaning the site has the same nature or quality as that of Apple's App Store.

"Apple has failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement (express or implied) of fact that actually deceived or had the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of its audience," Hamilton wrote in her nine-page judgement.

The case, which is being heard in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, will continue on Apple's remaining five claims.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appleamazon.comlegalCivil lawsuits

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?