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A judge ruled that Apple's case that Amazon infringed its "App Store" trademark was too weak to grant a preliminary injunction.
Early setback could prove troubling later in the case

Two weeks 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 "App Store". 

It sought 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 the motion.

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 startup Amahi.



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RE: Misleading
By chick0n on 7/7/2011 10:37:56 AM , Rating: 0
You are such fuxking moron.

Did Microsoft sued anybody for using the term "Windows" on say, my home's stainless steel windows ?

Did Google or anybody ever sue people for using the term "Android" in any of the sci-fi movies?

This case is the same as AOL's "You've got mail."

Someone should get fired in the patent's office cuz they pretty gain every single god damn application submitted to them, regardless of how ridiculous it could be.


RE: Misleading
By Sazabi19 on 7/7/2011 10:44:07 AM , Rating: 2
Android is a common term that is not copyrighted, although "Droid" is copyrighted by George Lucas IIRC which is why Verizon had to pay in order to use the term "Droid" for any of their phones, it is licensing. While not many people went around saying "droid" in every day life (because android was so popular before the OS?) Lucas copyrighted it after his Starwars movies and it was accepted. The point on this is that it wasn't a vague term, I am in no way defending Apple or Lucas.


RE: Misleading
By cjohnson2136 on 7/7/2011 10:46:36 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was the phone manufacturer that had to pay the licensing agreement with Lucas?


RE: Misleading
By B-Unit on 7/7/2011 11:33:06 AM , Rating: 2
No, Verizon bought the rights. Notice only Verizon has phones with the word 'Droid' in their names.


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