Apple sues Amazon over App store branding


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The Amazon Appstore is now officially live in the US, complete with its launch roster of 3,600 apps, but it isn’t all good news for the online retail giant as Apple is suing over the use of the term ‘App Store’.

Filed in a Californian federal court, the lawsuit says Amazon has improperly used Apple’s own App Store mark to solicit software developers. Apple also claims the similiar name will be a pain for consumers.

“We’ve asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said.

Apple’s lawsuit states Amazon is improperly using the App Store trademark in connection with the “Amazon Appstore Developer Portal”, and also asserted a claim of unfair competition.

Amazon has yet to release a statement, but we assume the fact its website is plastered with the term ‘Appstore’ shows it isn’t massively worried at this time.

And why should it be? Apple is currently locking horns with Microsoft over the former’s attempt to trademark the term “App Store” – a term Microsoft feels is too generic. At this time, the matter is currently in the hands of a trademark trial and appeals board.

Amazon’s Appstore – available as an app on Android or within a web browser – boasts an exclusive Android version of Angry Birds, and the online store lets users trial games and apps via Flash. If you are happy to buy something, it is then sent to your phone.

At this time, teething problems have seen the web form go down, but it would seem the Android app is still ticking over nicely.

Unlike the Android Market, the Amazon Appstore has a form of quality control, whereby anything submitted undergos a form of vetting to ensure software isn’t packed with trojans, malware or is just plain awful.

While we are unsure exactly how Amazon deals with said vetting, it should at least help stamp out blatant plagiarism and poor quality – a bit of a problem for developers on Google’s own market.

Apple is seeking to enjoin Amazon from using the App Store name.

At this time it isn’t known if the Amazon Appstore will be available on iPhone in the future, adding more salt into the wound, or when it will grace the shores of the UK.

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