Amazon can keep using the phrase “App Store” in its Appstore for Android, which, according to Apple’s recently-filed injunction, it would cause confusion for consumers. This means that, according to Apple, people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an iPhone and an Android phone when it comes to searching out apps for their devices. While it’s simply a battle for control for marketing purposes — the abbreviation “app” is an incredibly popular term in today’s vernacular — the reason Apple used is downright silly.
Are iPhone users really not going to be able to tell the difference between these two services — “Amazon Appstore for Android” and “Apps for iPhone?” If so, these users have issues that extend far beyond getting confused by services that use the phrase “app.” As it stands, Apple’s injunction, which was seeking the immediate removal of the term from Amazon’s service.
After reading Apple’s reasoning for the injunction, it’s easy to see Apple is using the terms “confusing” and “misleading” the same way ISPs use the “stifle innovation” catch-all whenever they’re backed up against a legal wall. Even though these “reasons” fall apart under the slightest bit of scrutiny, these entities continue to push their excuses on the public. Good thing not all judges are as gullible. According to a number of reports, including PhysOrg, Apple’s injunction was dismissed by US District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton because the company did not prove it’s confusion argument:
“The evidence does show that Apple has spent a great deal of money on advertising and publicity, and has sold/provided/furnished a large number of apps from its App Store,” Hamilton wrote in her ruling. “However, there is also evidence that the term ‘app store’ is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices.”
Essentially, Judge Hamilton ruled that the “app store” phrase was more descriptive than it was distinctive.
While Apple’s injunction was dismissed, the suit filed against Amazon, which seeks damages from the online retailer, is still active. For what it’s worth, according to Reuters, Apple’s spokesperson is sticking to the “confusion” and “misleading” argument, even though Amazon’s app store clearly has the name “Android” in it.
Apparently, Kristin Huguet and the rest of Apple’s legal team don’t think iPhone owners can tell the difference between their phone and an Android device.