Apple Loses Bid to Stop Amazon from Using the Phrase "App Store"

In March 2011, Apple accused Amazon Inc. of infringing its rights to the phrase "App Store" when it was used to describe an Amazon software store for Android. It asked a US court for an injunction prohibiting Amazon from using this name, claiming it would "confuse and mislead" customers.

Judge Phyllis Hamilton in the US District Court of California ruled that the use of the term "App Store" is unlikely to cause confusion for customers over to which company the store is belonged.

"The court finds that Apple has not established a likelihood of success on its dilution claim," she said in an 18-page ruling. "Apple has not established that its 'App Store' mark is famous, in the sense of being 'prominent' and 'renowned'. The evidence does show that Apple has spent a great deal of money on advertising and publicity and the evidence also reflects actual recognition of the 'App Store' mark."

Hamilton said there was indeed evidence to show "the term 'app store' is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices".