Apple Squares Off With Amazon Over App Store Moniker
If you've ever doubted whether Apple has a two-fisted, overly restrictive stance toward its App Store, consider the fact that the company is now suing Amazon over trademark issues related to Amazon using the name "App Store." Bloomberg has reported on this, noting that "Apple, in a March 18 complaint in federal court in northern California, accused Amazon.com of trademark infringement and unfair competition. The company asked for a judge’s order to prevent the company from using the 'App Store' name and for unspecified damages." Come on Apple, App Store is a combination of "App" and "Store" which are both terms that have been that have been commonly used for quite some time now.
“Amazon has begun improperly using Apple’s App Store mark in connection with Amazon’s mobile-software developer program,” Apple noted in a complaint. According to the Bloomberg report, Apple has also tried multiple times to contact Amazon about use of the phrase.
As we've previously noted, Amazon is rolling out an Android App Store, and its strategy surrounding it could have far-reaching consequences. Yesterday, we covered how Amazon could compete very directly with Apple in the tablet market by embracing the open source Android mobile OS. Amazon has much to gain from shifting the Kindle from just an eBook reader to a fully functional content- and application-ready tablet device. It has already found success selling the Kindle at budget prices and making up the profits selling content for the device. Many observers feel that an Amazon device running Android could become very competitive with the iPad given Amazon's existing strengths in delivering content.
The fact that Apple is apparently going to war over the very name "App Store" illustrates that the company knows full well that whoever delivers the most compelling applications for emerging mobile hardware platforms will win in the end. Some analysts even support Apple's right to defend the App Store name. Meanwhile, it's not clear what Amazon's response will be, but there are already reports coming out claiming that its Android App Store will arrive imminently.
UPDATE: On Tuesday, Amazon did open up its Android "Appstore."