Judge Elizabeth Laporte, the judge presiding over the Apple and Amazon lawsuit, ordered both companies to attempt mediation and set a March 21 date for the meeting. According to Bloomberg, Apple claims that Amazon infringes on its trademark by using the word “Appstore” to describe its own app marketplace. Initially, Apple sued Amazon, stating the term falsely advertised its product; meanwhile, Amazon argued that its use of the term “Appstore” is not meant to infringe on Apple’s trademark or confuse customers. The company promptly initiated a countersuit against Apple.
Apple’s accusation comes after the “false advertising” trial between the Amazon Appstore and Apple, seemingly for the same reason, resulting in the dismissal of the case. The presiding judge, Judge Phyllis Hamilton, assured the two companies that “no one is confusing the Amazon Appstore for Apple’s App Store,” yet, it seems Apple did not quite retain the message. Apple now claims that the term breaches its copyright of the term “App Store.”
Laporte, following in the footsteps of Hamilton, advised the companies to settle the case themselves before the trial – most likely in an attempt to prevent reliving the previous verdict. If they cannot come to an agreement, the case goes to Hamilton’s court – once again combing through a sordid case for a legitimate argument.
In recent years, Apple has habitually targeted competitors whose design, names, or features are similar to its own, likely in an attempt to protect every inch of their design. Meanwhile, PCs, tablets, and other operating systems continue to pick up steam, increasing their share of the market. Rights to the “Appstore” term are subject to the decision of the court, but Apple’s case does not seem exceptionally strong, especially in consideration of the judge’s advice.
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