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Apple rebuts Amazon's stance that 'app store' is a generic term

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Apple rebutted Amazon.com's stance that "app store" is a generic term in its latest filing related to its trademark infringement suit against the Amazon Appstore.

"Apple denies that the mark APP STORE is generic and, on that basis, denies that the Amazon Appstore for Android service is an 'app store,'" the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant said in a document filed Thursday in an Oakland federal court. "Apple further denies that defendants [Amazon] have the right to use APP STORE as a trademark in connection with Amazon's mobile software download service for Android devices."

Apple filed its suit against Amazon one day before the March 22 opening of the Amazon Appstore, which sells mobile apps for phones and tablets running Google's Android operating system. Apple claims that it owns the trademark on the phrase "app store," which it calls its iOS store for apps.

"Apple admits that the current edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines 'app' as, in part, '[a]n application, esp. an application program," Apple said in the court filing. "Apple further admits that the current edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary defines 'store' as, in part, 'a retail establishment selling items to the public: a health-food store.'"

But, once those two words are paired, that where the Apple's ownership kicks in, the filing said.

"Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words 'app store' together denote a store for apps," the document said. "Apple denies that the words 'app store' are commonly used among many businesses to describe mobile software download services and further denies that the term 'app store market' is used to describe the market for mobile software download services."

Apple has yet to specify what monetary damages, if any, it is seeking from Amazon in its suit, but has asked the court to rule that Amazon stop using the name "Appstore" to sell Android apps.

Amazon, in its defense, in an April 25 court filing used a Steve Jobs quote in which the Apple CEO said Apple's app store is "the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone" to justify its claim that the term "app store" is generic.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: The Amazon Appstore app download page is displayed on a computer monitor in Washington, D.C., on April 1. Credit: Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg

 
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