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Apple, Amazon Settlement Talks Scheduled in ‘Appstore’ Case

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. were ordered to hold settlement talks to try to resolve the iPhone maker’s trademark infringement suit over the online retailer’s use of the term “app store.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte in San Francisco directed the companies to confer on March 21 and to bring their lead attorneys and people who have full authority to negotiate and settle the case, according to a court filing today. A trial is scheduled for August.

Apple is seeking a court order to block Amazon from using the term Appstore in its service to sell software for devices running Google Inc.’s Android operating system. Apple alleges the online retailer infringes its trademark and violates unfair competition laws.

Apple started its APP STORE in 2008. Amazon, which started its service in March 2011, says the term is a generic one that Apple doesn’t have exclusive rights to. Amazon won dismissal this month of Apple’s claim that the use of the term is false advertising.

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the order. An e-mail message seeking comment sent to Seattle-based Amazon’s press office wasn’t immediately returned.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Amazon.com Inc., 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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