Even though funny stuff is happening–like battles over font size–some very large corporations are taking the trademark battle over the phrase ‘app store’ very seriously. Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) has responded to Apple’s lawsuit against it, noting that just about everyone uses “app store” generically–even Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs.
On a recent conference call, Jobs used the term repeatedly in the course of denouncing the disorganization of the Android Marketplace, saying:
“So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.”
Amazon’s new filing was first reported by tech news blog GeekWire, which also notes that Apple is seeking a preliminary injunction in the case, which would bar Amazon from using the term while the case moves forward. Since such injunctions are usually only awarded in “slam dunk” cases, it’s tough to imagine that Apple is going to get that kind of relief. In fact, I suspect that by the time this issue can get litigated to completion–it could take a couple years if no settlement is reached–the generic phrase “app store” will be much more a part of the English language than it is now. That will make it tough for Apple to win this battle to get exclusive use of the term “app store.”