Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Apple sues Amazon for using the words App Store

Apple is suing Amazon in a bid to stop the online retailer using the name App Store. In the lawsuit filed in a California federal court, Apple asked for an injunction and damages.

Amazon has been using the name for its mobile software development program and is selling mobile apps for Android handsets from today. In its complaint, Apple said: 'Customers of mobile software downloads are likely to be confused as to whether Amazon’s service is sponsored or approved by Apple.'

According to the lawsuit, Amazon is unlawfully using the trademark with what it calls the 'Amazon Appstore Developer Portal,' along with other instances like adverts for a version of Angry Birds, the popular mobile game.

Apple spokesman Kristin Huguet said: 'We've asked Amazon not to copy the name because it will confuse and mislead customers.' Apple has applied to register the App Store trademark in the U.S. which Bill Gates'
Microsoft opposes. The case is currently before a trademark trial and appeals board, according to the lawsuit.

Since Amazon's App Store is for Android, it will be a major source of contention with its rival, given how much market share Android is taking from Apple's devices.

The store has free and paid apps from Android software developers and includes the note-taking programme Evernote and the game PacMan. It also offers users the chance to test out many apps before buying them and giving visitors a paid app for free each day.

The first freebie will be Angry Birds Rio, a new version of the game that ties in with the animated movie. It normally costs $1. Apple has been using the name since July, 2008, when it began supplying apps for iPhone
and iPod touch. 

The two companies have been competing more directly over the last few years. Like the
Seattle-based Amazon, Apple now sells e-books and has been selling digital music and films through iTunes for several years.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the company does not comment on pending legislation.

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