Amazon.com tries to toss Apple ‘app store’ trademark suit, cites Steve Jobs in its own defense

Amazon.com today responded in court to Apple’s lawsuit over the name of its Android Appstore — calling the iPhone maker’s claim to the “App Store” trademark baseless, and pointing to a statement from Apple CEO Steve Jobs as one piece of evidence in its favor.

The Seattle-based online retailer asked a federal judge in San Francisco to throw out Apple’s trademark suit, calling the phrase “app store” generic and not something that Apple can claim for its exclusive use. Amazon’s filing echoed Microsoft’s arguments in a separate dispute at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office opposing Apple’s attempt to register the trademark.

In the filing (PDF, 10 pages), Amazon points in part to comments by Steve Jobs last fall. Speaking on Apple’s quarterly conference call, Jobs referred repeatedly to “app stores,” in a generic sense, while criticizing the fragmentation of Google’s Android platform.

“So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.”

The dispute over Apple’s trademark filing has broad implications in the tech world, from adult app store Mikandi to Microsoft’s plans for an app store in Windows 8, the next version of its PC operating system.

Since filing the lawsuit against Amazon, Apple has asked the court to move on an accelerated schedule to impose a preliminary injunction barring Amazon from using the Appstore name. The court has yet to rule on that request, which Amazon opposes.

  • Guest

    Well done Amazon! It’ll be sweet to see Mr. Jobs hoisted by his own stylish black petard.

  • http://twitter.com/thevnotes V

    Nice Shot!! Funny!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ZacharyRD Zachary Reiss-Davis

    For pure simplicity’s sake, I hope that Amazon.com and Microsoft win this battle, as the stupid hoops to be jumped through right now to refer to the generic “app store” idea is just silly.

  • Junk

    It’s like owning the term grocery store or department store. It’s a category not a trademark

  • Anonymous

    yes it’ll be sweet to see this when the app store was not even his idea.

  • Daniel

    This is crazy. Sure, Microsoft and Amazon want to benefit from the fame that Apple brought to the term “app store,” and understandably, Apple wants to keep them away from their honey pot. But it’s still a generic term, just like grocery store, and no major company with sane leadership would ever think of trying to defend “grocery store” as a trademark. There’s no doubt that Apple innovated a lot while paving the way for app stores to enjoy such popularity, but the term “app store” is not in itself one of their innovations. It’s a very stupid name to choose if you want a defensible trademark to set your services apart from the competition. If they didn’t want to share the market they’ve created, they should have thought ahead and given it a non-generic, creative, and distinctive name. It’s like naming your dog “Dog,” or your son “Son.” Some major retardation going on there.

  • Drew Boggess

     I would so love to watch Apple be taken down and humiliated in court. haha I eagerly await the court’s decision. @pianodb:twitter