A California district court judgment this week denied Apple's request for an injunction against Amazon's AppStore, dealing a blow to its bid for exclusive rights over the term ''app store''
The court found that Apple had failed to establish that its "App Store" mark was famous enough to be considered prominent or renowned. The ''app store'' Apple association was not as strong as the iPad, iPhone, or iPod association was in the perception of the people, the judge ruled.
Though Apple had spent a lot of money and effort marketing its App Store, "there is also evidence that the term 'app store' is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices," judge Phyllis J Hamilton wrote in her Wednesday ruling.
In 2008 Apple had filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office to register the mark "App Store."
However in January 2010, the Patent Office published a notice, in which it invited objections from parties before it went ahead. Microsoft objected, which set off a legal battle between the two companies, and when Amazon launched its Amazon Android AppStore in March, Apple filed suit, demanding that Amazon cease using the term.
According to both Microsoft and Amazon, the term "app store" was a generic one, and did not apply exclusively to Apple's App Store.
Apple, however maintains that "App Store" was a well-known term associated with the company and that other companies using the same term would dilute Apple's App Store brand. Judge Hamilton, has however found that Apple had not established a likelihood of success on its dilution claim.