Apple denies Amazon's claims that “app store” term is generic

In a yet another twist to the lawsuit which has turned to be as close to a linguistic dispute as it gets, Apple now denies Amazon’s claims that “App Store” is a generic term…
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47 Comments

20. dandirk unregistered

"Apple" is trademarked as a technological company name. Actually they trademarked Apple Inc. I believe. This does NOT mean we have to rename fruit. Trademarked names generally can only be applied to the sector of business they are trademarked in and used to prevent brand hijacking in the same market. Though there are circumstances where if proved the name was created to take advantage of the branding/marketing of the trademark holder, the trademark could be upheld. I could open an "Apple" car dealership and Apple Inc could sue, but would loose because my dealership and Apple's business do not overlap markets. Unless they could prove the only reason I named my dealership "Apple" was to ride Apple Inc's marketing coat-tails. This is the reason Monster Cables sues everyone with "Monster" in their name and looses. But as mentioned before trademark holders have to defend their trademark (usually by lawsuits) to keep it. So essentially companies know they will loose but have to sue anyways to prove they are defending their trademark. It is my personal opinion that "App Store" is just too generic to properly trademark. The generic term is rooted in the market it services (store for apps), while other generic termed trademarks (like "Apple") are generally not a from the same vocabulary set as the market it services. Aka Apple=fruit not apple=computer term. Aka good luck successfully trademarking Motherboard for a motherboard company. Just because Apple made the term popular does not make it generic but theirs imho. Now if people used the term "iStore" to reference an app store as common language use then that is a different story. Just like "Google" has become a verb and a generic term for search engine. As others have mentioned, Apple is just doing what they are allowed to get away with. They should have NEVER gotten the trademark to begin with. Its not their fault, the people that approved it are the once creating the problem.

36. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

I agree with your early paragraphs, but not the latter ones. Apple was the only one using "applications" instead of "programs". It's always been called "programs". When the iphone and ipad gained popularity, so did their apps (programs). So yes, they have every right to own the term "App Store" or even "Applications" for that matter.

45. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Microsoft popularized operating systems. Why is Apple using "OS"X? Microsoft has every right to own the term OS.

21. Ben unregistered

*gallitoking* I'm gonna trademark the word 'food' and if i ever hear you mention the word you'd get sued Steve Jobs style,once its trademarked its mine despite the generic makeup of the english language of it. Hmmmmm how many other companies have used or trademarked the word 'store'? Apple could be in trouble with that stupid logic!

40. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

you are just as dumb as your comments... it would only affect me if I open a store or try to market products under your word.. food.... but you wont get it aproved in the 1st place.. u dummba$$... and is not the words that are trademark is the combination of both... app store.. if you only say app ..yopur are good and if you only say store.. no foul.. but if you try to market your product.. whaterver that might be.. using the words app store, than expect to be sued... get it or you want me to go kidergarten on you?...

22. Techman2000 unregistered

Anyone else see the truth behind all these bizarre legal complaints and childish attempts of suing is that apple is indeed worried its all slipping slowly away from them from android overtaking to other app stores taking prominence Its good fun to see!

24. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I would not be surprised to see Apple win this one. @dandirk did a great job defining the purpose of a trademark- to protect a name that has become associated with a product you sell. "app store" is very generic, but Apple did trademark it, and Amazon is selling the exact type of product that Apple is, using a name trademarked by a different company. If this isn't upheld, what is the point of trademarks to protect your product? I agree that all sites that sell apps will be referred to by the public as "app stores", but that is different then a company using it to further their own version of the same product.

27. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

It became generic when Steve Jobs used it when refering the competition. Just abiding by his words.

25. dandirk unregistered

Techman2000 I don't think Apple is worried at ALL... They make more money then companies 5x their size, their products are considered the leaders in almost EVERY market they are in (for hand held devices at least). Apple has worked hard to achieve this success through decent easy to use products and Branding, Marketing. Branding is VERY important. Tough to get a good brand name out there, hold it and VERY easy to wreck. Apple is doing everything in their power to expand and protect their brand name, because it is VITAL to their business. A study that came out that says Apple fans seem to share the same type of brain patterns that religious people have when thinking about their product/religion. http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/apple-cause s-religious-reaction-in-brains-of-fans-say-neurosc ientists/ That is the power of the Apple brand name, and Apple knows this and will do anything to protect it.

33. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

To those who keep on whining about Apple's trademark of the "App Store". I challenge you to produce a computer chip and name it "Intel". "Intel" is a word also commonly used as a shortcut for "intelligence" in the CIA or FBI. Or, I challenge you to produce a software company and name it "Windows". Windows are of course very common part of the house. All houses have windows right? So go ahead and let's see what happens.

34. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Or better yet, I challenge you to put out an internet store and name it "Amazon". "Amazon" is known for its rainforests. It's also known as a tribe of strong and brave women. So there. Go ahead, and let's see what happens.

37. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Btw, my ipad2 is now in Alaska. Can't wait, lol.

38. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

I've heard that Nokia is renaming Symbian. They're renaming it to "Android". That should be ok, right? I mean an "android" is another generic name for a "robot". And Nokia's first Android phone will be called "Blackberry". That should be fine as well right? I mean we all know that a blackberry is a popular fruit right? And Nokia will be selling their first Nokia Android Blackberry phone on their new website called "Amazon". We all know that "Amazon" is also a generic word, so it should be fine right?

39. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Here's the reply of fandroids. "Android" is trademarked by Google. "Blackberry" is trademarked by RIM. "Amazon" is trademarked by Amazon. So those terms are protected and can't be used by Nokia because they've already been trademarked. BUT, it would not be right and it's very immature of Apple to trademark "Apple" and "App Store". That's just wrong. Bwahahahahahahahahaha.

43. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Actually laughed a lot during that rant. Well said, Gemini.

46. p0rkguy

Posts: 685; Member since: Nov 23, 2010

Apple can trademark whatever they want. The fact that Steve Jobs used it to describe other markets instead of their own terms allowed the competition to do whatever they please. If Steve Jobs didn't mess that part up then Apple would stand a chance.

47. andro unregistered

Apple now seems to think they own the english language,they are getting worse by the day i tells you. Oxford English dictionary will be getting sued by apple next
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