In March, Apple sued Amazon for trademark infringement after Amazon went live with its Android Appstore. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company argued that Amazon's use of the term could confuse consumers, who might think Amazon's offering was approved or sponsored by Apple. This week, Amazon responded to the lawsuit.
According to PCWorld.com, Amazon's 10-page document refutes Apple's arguments point-by-point and says the trademark claim is "baseless." Like Microsoft has already done, Amazon argues the phrase "app store" is a generic one used to denote any collection of applications for sale and/or download. In fact, Amazon even points to instances in which Apple CEO Steve Jobs has used "app store" in a generic sense.
As I mentioned once before, notwithstanding the arguments of Amazon and Microsoft, Apple is still the only provider that calls its collection of mobile applications an "App Store." But whether that is enough to establish its trademark claim remains to be seen. If the trademark is valid, there's still the question of whether the changes in spacing and capitalization that Amazon uses-Appstore instead of App Store-will be enough to distinguish it and avoid liability.