Court Denies Preliminary Injunction Against Amazon for 'App Store' Use

July 7, 2011 -

A federal court judge has put the kibosh on Apple's attempt to get a preliminary injunction against Amazon for its use of the term "App Store." While the judge denied Apple's request his order suggests that Apple may still have a slight chance to prove trademark infringement at trial. Still, with the injunction attempt denied it seems like Apple may have a hard time proving its case.

Apple filed for the term "App Store" in 2008, and while the original application was rejected, it later received approval in 2010. In July of 2010 Microsoft filed an objection, saying that the term was too generic, and later asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to issue a summary judgment denying Apple's application. While all that was happening Amazon announced that it planned to launch its own Marketplace, at the time calling it the "App Store for Android." After that announcement Apple filed a lawsuit against the online retailer claiming "trademark infringement, dilution, and tarnishing."

Amazon answered the lawsuit by saying what Microsoft had said: the term is too generic to be protected by a trademark. That matter has yet to be decided by the TTAB. Amazon added that the term "for Android" made it clear that the products therein were meant for Android devices and not anything manufactured by Apple.

Apple's last action was to ask for a preliminary injunction. Today that request was put to bed. US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton said a few weeks ago that she would probably deny the company's motion because their arguments were weak. Hamilton concluded that Apple had shown no evidence of "dilution or tarnishment" of the App Store trademark. She also concluded that Apple's evidence supported two of eight legal criteria to establish infringement.

Source: Ars Technica


 
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