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Apple sues Amazon over App Store trademark, Microsoft sues B&N over Android

Apple has filed suit against Amazon.com, seeking to stop Amazon from using the term App Store to describe their Android market.

"We've asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers," said Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple.

Apple claims they'd asked Amazon to change the name three times and, not getting a response, they escalated to litigation. While App Store sounds generic it wasn't a popular term before the iPhone App Store became popular. Whether that's enough for Apple to win the suit will be up to the courts.

Microsoft has also filed suit against Barnes & Nobles, claiming the Nook and Android violate Microsoft's mobile patents. Guess it's not a safe day to be a bookstore. Given that HTC is already paying Microsoft licensing fees for their use of Android, could Microsoft end up making more money from Android than Google does, or than they themselves do from Windows Phone?

Either way, it doesn't seem to be a safe day to be a bookstore. Anyone think Borders is already lawyering up?

[Bloomberg, Microsoft via Android Central]

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

29 Comments
  • Wow really wow
  • apple needs to grow up n stop acting like baby n crying over everything... they r afraid and wont admit to it that all is to it
  • Android....
  • These companies are so easy to dislike.
  • nah i got an aple an android i use android more. more freedome n not locked down n control by a company on what i can do with a phone that i apy for.
  • You should really learn how to type proper English. You're making Android users look stupid.
  • Did you type that bad on your iPhone? Or is this the grammar of the android os? Or are you using swype? And there is plenty of control from google and there oem's.
  • There is great irony in the word grammar being used in your post.
  • ment to say pay for.
  • Ment to say meant
  • Right, that fixed it.
    Facepalm
  • Borders would, but they don't have any money to.
  • Another pointless lawsuit, App Store has become such a generic term
  • The thing is when you hear "app store" you think of Apple.
  • You know I don't think it is. If I opened an online store and called it amazon, im pretty sure I'd get sued.
  • Borders can't lawyer up, they just filed for bankruptcy. LOL. And I thought Apple won a lawsuit or patent or something a while back that said the term App Store, when capitalized, belongs to Apple? Maybe I imagined it, but I thought I remembered reading about that somewhere...
    Iron Man ftw!
  • Barnes & Noble seems to be closing a lot of stores lately. May be downsizing, but cannot be good for them.
  • I haven't seen any B&N stores closing. Borders now that is a different story.
  • I'm torn on this App Store thing. On one hand, yes...App Store is their name...but on the other, it really is such a generic thing. If it's a store for apps wouldn't the generic term for it be App Store? It will be interesting to see how that goes.
    As far as the licensing...B&N needs to stop being silly and just pay the licensing fees. I mean, whether it's right or wrong, licensing fees are a normal thing in the world of mobile. They just need to pay it and stop being belligerent.
  • I am afraid to comment on this because I may be sued...
  • This is all because they chose iTunes and iBooks for those other stores, but not iApps for the app store.
    But then again, there already were plenty of "Music Stores" and "Book Stores". I never visited an "App Store" before Apple, though.
  • HTC's license payment to Microsoft is WAY OVERBLOWN .. They might have some patents that are violated but my point is not about that..
    HTC clearly did Microsoft a favor by releasing a statement in the Press saying they're paying Microsoft.. I'm sure if they are paying.. it's a very minimal fee..
    Think about it... NONE OF THE MANUFACTURERS that have WP7 handset have been sued. Only HTC decided to agree to that and we all know the HTC CEO famous quote "We have to take care of Windows Mobile" .. that was before WP7.
    Sony which is still debating whether or no it will go with WP7 .. has yet to be sued.
  • lol @ that windows phone comment
  • Boy, Apple must think it's customers are morons if it thinks we're that easily confused.
  • They do.
  • As stupid as the lawsuit sounds, the term "App Store" was never used until apple made it mainstream, that's why android has the android market or whatever it is. The same way iPod has become the standard "name" for mp3 players, app store is where you purchase phone applications.
  • I'm having a hard time taking Apple's side on this one. Legally, it will all hinge on usage which isn't good for Apple. Every Apple website I visit uses the term App Store, while Amazon uses "Amazon appstore". Sure the difference is only a space and two capital letters, but those differences are what makes a trade mark different from plain English. (As I'm sure Apple argued & documented in their Trade Mark application, if they applied & were granted a Trade Mark for App Store.)I'm just not seeing the two being the same.
    The other problem Apple has is that they will have to show there is a generic term that amazon should be using instead. What would be the generic term for an store selling applications, but an app store. The legal team should have put more research and thought into this one.
  • Love her even though she's like my dumb little sister who can't dump the douche-bag monkey ex.
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