Flashback! Remember this one? Last year, Apple filed a trademark lawsuit against Amazon, claiming that Amazon’s use of the term “App Store” (as in “Amazon Appstore”) could contribute to confusion among consumers as it was not, as Amazon believes, “a generic term.” Other app store providers like Microsoft and Google have made a point to brand their app stores differently by calling them the Windows Marketplace and the Android Market (now Google Play), respectively, just to be on the safe side. But Amazon has stuck to its guns, saying that the phrase should not be subject to trademark protection.
The case is still underway, and in a filing on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, Amazon has asked a federal judge to reject Apple’s “false advertising” claim.
The filing is in response to Apple’s Fifth Cause of Action in the case. In it, Amazon states that Apple “has not identified a single false statement that Amazon has made about the Amazon Appstore for Android.”
Apple is alleging that the use of the word “Appstore” in Amazon’s advertising is false advertising, Amazon explains in the filing, but that word is part of the name of Amazon’s store. “It is not a statement about the nature, characteristics, or qualities of Amazon’s store, much less a false one,” the document said.
In short, Amazon is saying that the case needs to focus not on “false advertising claims” but on the trademark dispute itself – that is, whether or not Apple has a right to restrict other companies from using the generic term “App Store” (or apparently, any combination of those words – even when mashed up like “Appstore”).
To back up its case on the matter, Amazon has cited incidences where former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook referred to competitors’ stores as app stores, both during press events and on investor calls. The hearing on Amazon’s motion is scheduled for October 31st, and the trial is scheduled for August 19th, 2013.
Yep, you’ll be hearing about this one for a long time to come.