Apple Denies Amazon’s Claim That ‘App Store’ Is Generic in Trademark Case

Apple Inc. (AAPL), suing Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) for trademark infringement, denied the retailer’s claims that “app store” is a generic term and that the words together stand for a store for application programs.

“Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words ‘app store’ together denote a store for apps,” the company said in a filing yesterday in federal court in Oakland, California.

The term isn’t commonly used by businesses to describe download services and, because the mark “app store” isn’t generic, Amazon’s Appstore for Android service isn’t an “app store,” Apple said in the filing.

Apple is seeking a court order to prevent Amazon from using “App Store” to sell software applications for mobile devices, according to a March 18 complaint. Amazon countered in an April 26 court filing that the words together are a generic term that Cupertino, California-based Apple doesn’t have exclusive rights to use.

The online retailer asked a federal judge to throw out Apple’s lawsuit and provide an order allowing it to use the term to sell programs for Android devices. Apple said Seattle-based Amazon isn’t entitled to an order allowing it to use the phrase.

Mary Osaka, a spokeswoman for Amazon, didn’t return a voice-mail seeking comment.

Amazon’s Appstore offering downloads of software for Android devices opened March 22.

The case is Apple v. Amazon, 11-01327, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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