Summary:

The claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition are still pending. But Amazon’s small win could prove to be very important as the company continues to turn its mobile content and hardware business into a more direct competitor of Apple’s.

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Though the larger case is still pending, Amazon scored a small victory on Wednesday when a U.S. district court dismissed Apple’s claim that the use of “Appstore” was “false advertising.” Bloomberg first reported the ruling. Though Apple was the first to market its mobile app marketplace as the iOS App Store in 2008, the court didn’t think anyone would be confused as to whether they were getting iOS apps or Android apps from Amazon’s online App Store.

From the ruling:

[T]here is no evidence that a consumer who accesses the Amazon Appstore would expect that it would be identical to the Apple APP STORE, particularly given that the Apple APP STORE sells apps solely for Apple devices, while the Amazon Appstore sells apps solely for Android and Kindle devices. Further, the integration of Apple devices has more to do with Apple’s technology than it does with the nature, characteristics, or qualities of the APP STORE.

Amazon opened its Amazon Appstore for Android in 2011, which spurred Apple to file a trademark suit in March that same year. Amazon’s position is that the term “app store” is generic; Apple disagrees.

The court only addressed the false advertising claim, meaning the trademark infringement and unfair competition claims are still pending. For now, Amazon’s small win could prove to be important to the company’s effort to turn its mobile content and hardware business into a more direct competitor of Apple’s.

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