Apple will vigorously defend its ability to trademark the term “app store.”
That is the crux of the argument that will take place as Apple plans to go after other companies that have been using the two-word phrase.
The lawsuit pits Apple against Amazon, over the fact that the latter has launched a mobile app online store that it calls the “Amazon Appstore.”
Apple holds a trademark for the expression “app store,” but that came from a filing several years ago when no one was referring to mobile phone software as “apps.”
Now, the word “app” is part of everyday parlance, and referring to something as an “app store” would be the same as calling a new retailer a “TV store” or “furniture store.” That will be Amazon’s argument.
Apple disagrees. “Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words ‘app store’ together denote a store for apps,” the company said in an official legal filing.
Although Apple was granted its trademark as requested, it is always possible for the trademark approval to be reversed. This has happened in similar cases in the past, when the term or phrase being trademarked was deemed to generic.
Obviously Amazon has a bit more proactive action to take in this case, as it will need to prove the legally binding trademark needs to be stripped away. However, the online retailer is confident it will be able to do just that.