ago we reported that Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL)
lawsuit against Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) in
Oakland, California federal court was going nowhere fast. Upset about
Amazon's use of the term "Appstore" ("Appstore for
Android"), Apple sued claiming Amazon had infringed on its trademark
an injunction forcing Amazon to temporarily cease using the name while the case
was decided. However, the presiding judge said at the time that Apple's
evidence of customer confusion was weak and that they were considering denying
Now Judge Phyllis Hamilton has made good on that threat, smacking down
Apple's request for a preliminary injunction.
Apple's case seems to be going nowhere. Judge Hamilton reaffirmed on
Wednesday that Apple had failed to present compelling evidence that customers
would confuse Amazon's store for Apple's, or vice versa. The judge also
expressed skepticism over the last several weeks about Apple's arguments that
the trademark was non-generic.
A trial is set to begin October 2012.
While the preliminary injunction does not officially affect the trial outcome,
it does set the mood for the trial. Preliminary injunctions (PI) are typically
granted if the evidence is strong or there's a compelling case that irreparable
damage will occur if the injunction isn't granted. A denial of a PI
request can have the opposite effect -- it can indicate pre-trial that the case
is weak and that the alleged harm isn't great.
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)
is currently in the midst of a lawsuit it filed against Apple on the grounds
that the term "App Store" was overly generic.
The outcome of these trials could affect many players in the industry.
Apple has fired off many cease and desist letters, including ones
to the owner of pcappstore.com, and open source
quote: It's no more generic than naming your company after a fruit or an animal.