Apple, Amazon Dismiss ‘App Store’ Trademark Claims

Apple Inc. and Inc. dismissed claims against each other in a two-year-old trademark lawsuit over the use of “app store.”

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, today approved a request for dismissal of the case by both companies after Apple issued to Amazon “a covenant not to sue” on June 28 that renders Amazon’s counterclaims moot. The companies’ request for dismissal doesn’t provide details.

Two rounds of settlement talks had failed to resolve the dispute, according to court filings.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, sued in 2011 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 alleged the online retailer infringed its trademark and violated unfair competition laws.

“This was a decision by Apple to unilaterally dismiss its claims, leaving Amazon free to use the term Appstore,” Marty Glick, an attorney for Amazon, said by phone today.

Apple started its App Store in 2008. Seattle-based Amazon, which started its service in March 2011, said the term is generic and that Apple didn’t have exclusive rights to it.

“With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps,” Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, said today in an e-mail. “We no longer see a need to pursue our case against Amazon.”

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

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