Amazon has joined Microsoft in calling for Apple’s App Store trademark to be rejected, arguing that “because ‘app store’ is a generic term, and Amazon’s use of the term causes no likelihood of confusion, dilution, 19 or unfair competition” the Apple legal case against them should be dropped. Like Microsoft, Amazon’s argument is that Apple’s own CEO, Steve Jobs, referred to generic “app stores” in the company’s financial results call back in October 2010.
Then, Jobs described the Apple App Store as “the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.” Amazon reckon that’s tacit agreement that the term is generic, and point to linguistic research that says the same:
“Based on their common meaning, the words “app store” together denote a store for apps, such as the app stores operated by Amazon and Apple. The American Dialect Society, a leading group of U.S. linguists, recently voted “app” as the “Word of the Year” for 2010, noting that although the word “has been around for ages,” it “really exploded in the last 12 months” with the “arrival of ‘app stores’ for a wide spectrum of operating systems for phones and computers.” Indeed, the words “app store” are commonly used among many businesses competing in the app store market.” Amazon counter-suit.
Previously, Apple had attempted to give Microsoft a legal spanking by arguing that “Windows” was just as generic, and pointing to the company’s own history of trademark infringement suits filed to prevent rivals from using it. Whether the Cupertino company will make similar comments about rainforests remains to be seen.
You can download the filing here [pdf link].