Judge Tosses Apple 'App Store' Claim Against Amazon

Apple had filed a trademark lawsuit in 2011, stating that Amazon’s use of the term “appstore” could cause confusion among consumers.

A U.S. judge on Wednesday granted Amazon.Com Inc.’s bid to end part of Apple Inc.’s lawsuit over Amazon’s use of the term “APP STORE,” ruling that Apple cannot bring a false advertising claim against the online retailer.

The Chicago Tribune reports U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, granted Amazon’s motion for partial summary judgment, which challenged only Apple’s false advertising allegations. Apple leveled other claims against Amazon, including trademark infringement.

The argument, which began in March of 2011 just after Amazon launched its new store, involves Apple claiming that Amazon’s use of app store in relation to its marketplace for apps constitutes false advertising. Apple argued that the use of ‘app store’, especially after Amazon dropped the ‘for Android’ from the name, would lead to customers being confused between the two stores.

Apple added a trademark claim in November of 2011, after Amazon launched the Kindle Fire tablet and began referring to the apps market as the ‘Amazon Appstore’. That trademark claim will continue to be tried, as Apple fights to take over ownership of the ‘App Store’ mark.

Amazon argued that Steve Jobs and Apple CEO Tim Cook had themselves referred to competing stores as ‘app stores’ in earnings calls, therefore negating Apple’s claim of false advertising. Amazon wasn’t alone in complaining either. Microsoft also opposed the claim, arguing that the term is now generic.

So, as of now, Amazon isn’t on the hook for false advertising, but continues to fight the trademark infringement battle.

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