Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple and Amazon End Lawsuit Over the Term 'App Store'

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the our-world-just-got-a-bit-less-silly dept.

Software 79

An anonymous reader writes "After months of back and forth legal filings, Amazon and Apple have finally ended their ongoing dispute centering on Amazon's use of the term 'App Store.' As part of the agreement, Apple agreed to drop the suit and Amazon promised not to counter-sue Apple in the future. Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said that 'we no longer see a need to pursue our case. With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps.' Apple initially sued Amazon back in March of 2011 alleging that the online retailer's use of the phrase 'App Store' in its mobile software developer program constituted trademark infringement. Apple expressed that allowing Amazon to continue to use the phrase 'App Store' would ultimately confuse consumers who associate the phrase with Apple's app store for iOS apps."

cancel ×

79 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Sure that's the reason (2)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about a year ago | (#44230515)

I am sure that is the reason they dropped it and not because they were throwing dollars at lawyers for a case they couldn't possibly win. They found a way to back out gracefully.

Re:Sure that's the reason (1)

click2005 (921437) | about a year ago | (#44230561)

Without admitting they were wrong (as usual).

Re:Sure that's the reason (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44230815)

Without admitting they were wrong (as usual).

And quite possibly because some patent troll has been warming up in the wings to go after them both.

Re:Sure that's the reason (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230575)

Apple are fucking stupid. They go around suing every other large company around alienating themselves and making a lot of enemies when they could be forming valuable partnerships instead.

Re:Sure that's the reason (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230951)

no, you are

Re:Sure that's the reason (4, Insightful)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year ago | (#44231089)

Apple are fucking stupid. They go around suing every other large company around alienating themselves and making a lot of enemies when they could be forming valuable partnerships instead.

That makes far too much sense. And to top it off, where such a philosophy would have been normal in the early days of the personal computer industry, cooperation between businesses to where everyone can succeed does not align with the modern douchebag corporate philosophy, where it is not enough for a company to be a success, but all competitors must ultimately fail. And if that is not possible, scorch the land.

Re:Sure that's the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231833)

where it is not enough for a company to be a success, but all competitors must ultimately fail. And if that is not possible, scorch the land.

Hey, thats the American Dream you're talking about there.

Re:Sure that's the reason (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#44232967)

That makes far too much sense. And to top it off, where such a philosophy would have been normal in the early days of the personal computer industry, cooperation between businesses to where everyone can succeed does not align with the modern douchebag corporate philosophy, where it is not enough for a company to be a success, but all competitors must ultimately fail. And if that is not possible, scorch the land.

But how much cooperation is "too much"?

Would the eBook publishers "cooperating" to make eBooks more successful be considered "too much"? The DoJ thought so.

Would Apple, Microsoft, Google all banding together make for a better place? Or perhaps if Apple "gave up" on OS X, and joined Microsoft to help make Windows better? You know, after all, it had like 98% marketshare at that point over a decade and a half ago.

A form of cooperation is collusion, and trust me, even in the early PC industry, competition was king. Sure a lot of people helped each other, but a lot of others competed. The early days of the Homebrew Computer Club were all about bragging rights, a form of competition.

Perhaps Apple and Google should've cooperated and they could fold Android into iOS, and leave us with one true smartphone OS.

When businesses start acting nice to each other, it's time to worry.

Re:Sure that's the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44233325)

False dichotomy. Cooperation does not mean companies automatically stop making competing products. In the case of Apple and Amazon, they could both benefit simultaneously at what they do best. For Apple, that would be making computers and computing devices, for Amazon, that is selling those products.

Re:Sure that's the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44233603)

where it is not enough for a company to be a success, but all competitors must ultimately fail

It's funny that you say that. I remember that D interview [youtube.com] with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs where Steve said that in order for Apple to succeed, Microsoft didn't have to fail. He also mentioned that Apple hadn't been good at partnering with others, but that he wanted them to be. I guess little Timmy missed that one.

Re:Sure that's the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44235233)

Utter nonsense. Generally speaking, big corporations don't have memory, and don't hold grudges. Individuals in those corporations might, but you might have noticed Steve Jobs hasn't been saying much recently. If it's in the interests of corporations to sue each other one day and form an alliance the next, they'll do it.

Or in other words, there's no such thing as "enemies" or "partnerships" between corporations, just competitors doing whatever happens to optimize their profit.

Re:Sure that's the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44235599)

The check's in the mail

-Tim

Re:Sure that's the reason (2, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#44230931)

They never wanted to win, just delay.

Re:Sure that's the reason (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44230949)

I am sure that is the reason they dropped it and not because they were throwing dollars at lawyers for a case they couldn't possibly win. They found a way to back out gracefully.

Or could it be that over the intervening time, Apple figured out that their customers are not as stupid as Apple thought they were, and none of them were found trying to download Amazon apps to their walled-garden phones?

Apple expressed that allowing Amazon to continue to use the phrase 'App Store' would ultimately confuse consumers

Re:Sure that's the reason (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year ago | (#44236631)

I am sure that is the reason they dropped it and not because they were throwing dollars at lawyers for a case they couldn't possibly win. They found a way to back out gracefully.

Or could it be that over the intervening time, Apple figured out that their customers are not as stupid as Apple thought they were, and none of them were found trying to download Amazon apps to their walled-garden phones?

Or maybe Apple saw that even Android users aren't stupid enough to shop at the fake App Store. Not to mention that most developers too realized Amazon was ripping them off.

Re:Sure that's the reason (0)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about a year ago | (#44231261)

"With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps."

Gracefully? Well, that's one way to characterize it. Another would be "smug bitch asshole nanny nanny boo boo!" Or, typical Apple style.

Re:Sure that's the reason (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#44234893)

I am sure that is the reason they dropped it and not because they were throwing dollars at lawyers for a case they couldn't possibly win. They found a way to back out gracefully.

The thing is, Apple can afford to keep throwing lawyers that cost thousands of dollars per hour at cases they have no hope of winning.

More likely they found out they would be judged against very, very soon and would rather the case ended ambiguously as opposed to having a precedent set. This way they can keep using the FUD and threats of a law suit.

Hang on... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230521)

With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps

Google Play?? Android has over 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Play [wikipedia.org]

Re:Hang on... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230981)

50 billion downloads.

LOL you wish.

Re:Hang on... (4, Insightful)

AequitasVeritas (712728) | about a year ago | (#44231343)

The above referenced wikipedia article indicates that as of May 2013, the Play Store had somewhere in the realm of 48 billion downloads (up from 40 billion in April 2013). It would be relatively safe to assume that if the number of downloads went up by 8 billion in one month, that exceeding 50 billion by today's date (over a month later) would not be far fetched.

Patent Lawyers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230525)

Idiots and/or assholes. Every one of 'em.

All publicity is good publicity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230527)

With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps

From play.google.com?

Good news, faggots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230537)

Apple, your favorite anal dildo has been removed from Amazon's rectum.

Apple has a throbbing hardon, y'all!!

Will your asshole be next?

And once again, the winners are .... (4, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#44230567)

the lawyers!

Re:And once again, the winners are .... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44230825)

the lawyers!

Thank goodness we have someone evil enough to make the lawyers suffer, if even just a tiny bit, for their part in this - the IRS

Re:And once again, the winners are .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231245)

Thank goodness we have someone evil enough to make the lawyers suffer, if even just a tiny bit, for their part in this - the IRS

They're lawyers. The only people on the planet who are able to actually read and understand the words, let alone the sentences, in all those laws that allow people or companies to "optimize" their revenues in ever more creative ways. Good luck having the IRS ever bother them.

patents (4, Interesting)

irving47 (73147) | about a year ago | (#44230581)

I bet a shiny quarter that somewhere in the agreement, Apple gets a break on the 1-click purchase license that Amazon got the patent on way back when. Apple was among the first, if not the first, to license that farce for their store online.

Re:patents (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year ago | (#44230803)

Bet they didnt. What Apple got was that hopefully the DOJ will not consider this lawsuit a pattern of behavior when considering their culpability in the eBook price fixing investigation.

Re:patents (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44230985)

Bet they didnt. What Apple got was that hopefully the DOJ will not consider this lawsuit a pattern of behavior when considering their culpability in the eBook price fixing investigation.

That ship has sailed, and the brunt of that eBook pricing scandal will hit any day now.
Don't expect Apple to get out of that one so easily, because the last party to settle in this type of case pays something like 90% of the damages.

Re:patents (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#44230999)

What? Like the DOJ won't prosecute Apple for that?

Um, already happened.

Decision is in the judge's hands, not the DOJ's.

Re:patents (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | about a year ago | (#44231275)

Not saying they are going to walk away from it. More like putting one's effects in order before sentencing. It cant hurt to put this to bed before the judge rules, just like it cant help to have a merit-less lawsuit against the Amazon in play when the judge rules. Hey maybe Im wrong, probably am, but the timing seems less than random. But either way I doubt they got any concession from Amazon whatsoever, and certainly no reduction in licensing fees.

Re:patents (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year ago | (#44236777)

Bet they didnt. What Apple got was that hopefully the DOJ will not consider this lawsuit a pattern of behavior when considering their culpability in the eBook price fixing investigation.

Wow, you make it sound like the DOJ and Amazon are colluding. You may be on to something.

Re:patents (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about a year ago | (#44234253)

I'll bet they didn't. The press release mentions Amazon agreed not to counter sue, That's usually code for we are losing the case and we talked the other side into not going after legal fees if we drop the case right now.

The case was silly, Amazon would have likely counter sued and at a minimum won legal fees and might have convinced the judge the case was so silly that punitive damages are viable. That could cost quite a bit of money so they talked Amazon into letting them off the hook if they drop it and walk away which prevents future expenditures. Amazon agreed because there was a risk the Judge wouldn't award the fees.

It's always the side notes that give away who was the victor in the lawsuit, a note about Amazon agreeing not to counter sue is one of those side notes. Because if Apple had a legitimate case they thought they could win they wouldn't be worried about counter suits.

Re:patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44235725)

+5 Interesting? -1 total made-up bollocks more like.
Sigh.

Of course (3, Informative)

dabadab (126782) | about a year ago | (#44230591)

Yes, I can totally see, how a misguided Apple user would download stuff from Amazon to his iPhone instead of using Apple's app store - well, except for the minor problem
, that their phones do not allow them to do it.

Re:Of course (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231417)

Clearly you overestimate the median intelligence of the Apple user. Apple had to weigh the cost of a lawsuit, against the cost of fielding support calls from iPhone/iPad users upset that they couldn't figure out how to download apps from Amazon's App Store.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44236365)

Yes, I can totally see, how a misguided Apple user would download stuff from Amazon to his iPhone instead of using Apple's app store - well, except for the minor problem
, that their phones do not allow them to do it.

People forget that in civil cases, you have to prove damages, and then be paid the amount you can prove you lost. Apple would have a hard time proving that they were losing revenue from Amazon's store sales because Amazon is barred from entering Apple's market (by Apple, in a way that Amazon doesn't even attempt to circumvent).

So even if Apple can find a way in which they were wronged, how much could they get a reasonable person to agree they've lost (in revenue)?

Good... (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about a year ago | (#44230607)

Now can we consumers sue BOTH of them for material misrepresentation? They both forgot the C in "crap store"

Re:Good... (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | about a year ago | (#44230735)

Not the 'r' as well? If they only forgot the C then it'd be a "cap store". So maybe LIDS [lids.com] would sue them?

Re:Good... (4, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | about a year ago | (#44230769)

I think you're confused. The app store is where you go to get apps for your phone. A crap store on the other hand is where you can purchase things like that joke.

Re:Good... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44234529)

well the jerkstore called, and they're running out of you!

Re:Good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44242821)

Whats the difference, they have you

Re:Good... (2)

Known Nutter (988758) | about a year ago | (#44230811)

Your joke is bad, and you should feel bad.

Apple the Dumbass (-1, Troll)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year ago | (#44230647)

Are you tech company or a law firm? Dumb fucks.

Get it together FFS.

Re:Apple the Dumbass (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230745)

Exactly, an app is an application. With all the supposed marketing geniuses at the company. Don't you think someone would have though to use appl store? Now that could have been a trademark.

Re:Apple the Dumbass (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#44231271)

Apple are not stupid, they didn't become the #1 market cap company (now #2 I think, but still) for being stupid. I do think however that not every move is a winner (keeping AD2P out of their bluetooth stack in ALL of their products becuase they make more selling earbuds, for example), including suing anyone who breathes one of their more generic trademark phrases, and their Chinese slave labor camps. Still, people are willing to pony up for their products.

Re:Apple the Dumbass (1)

sydsavage (453743) | about a year ago | (#44232091)

The compatibility matrix on this page [apple.com] suggests you are full of shit concerning AD2P. Every IOS product listed except the original iPhone has AD2P.

Mental Retardation (-1, Troll)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44230819)

It's not a debilitating condition anymore - now it's a requirement for executive level positions.

Re:Mental Retardation (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44230831)

Oh, wait, sorry - I take it back.

Wouldn't want to accidentally insult people who actually suffer from mental retardation by comparing them to CEO types...

Re:Mental Retardation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44250191)

Oh, wait, sorry - I take it back.

Wouldn't want to accidentally insult people who actually suffer from mental retardation by comparing them to CEO types...

You mean people like yourself.

how much tax money did this cost? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230823)

Do tax payers get reimbursed now for the money wasted legally catering to this nonsense?

They should just... (0)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#44230837)

They should just trademark the letters of the alphabet, and therefore all combinations of those letter.

Iit would completely eliminate all confusion. Who owns this name? Well if it is made of letters, then Apple. Easy.

Re:They should just... (2)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year ago | (#44230863)

Presumably, then, the artist formerly known as Prince would be unaffected in this scenario.

Re:They should just... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#44231061)

The artist formerly known as prince will not be affected, however "The artist formerly known as prince" will definitely be affected.

Re:They should just... (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | about a year ago | (#44230973)

Just the iAlphabet: iA, iB, iC, iD, iEtc...

Re:They should just... (1)

X-Ray Artist (1784416) | about a year ago | (#44231035)

Reminds me of Steven Wright: Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song? The guy who wrote that song wrote everything.

The legal system... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230845)

is getting ridiculous.

Terms of employment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230869)

'we no longer see a need to pursue our case. With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps.'

Is it requisite to be a catty, petty cunt while working for Apple? Honest question. I have yet to meet a single Apple employee who wasn't a pompous, self-satisfied fuckwad, and believe you me, I've met a few.

Re:Terms of employment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230989)

all the ones I met were curteous, helpful and polite.

Re:Terms of employment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231041)

Meet with the black-shirts who peddle corporate services.

Stupid waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230957)

A suit over a two (common) word term/label.

As an Australian I have two words for them. The first begins with F and the second is wits. Oh wait - we sometimes treat that as one word.

Oh well. I'm glad they're not "patented".

Where to purchase apps. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44230969)

>customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps

Yes, at the Google Play Store, but I generally purchase an app before it's my favorite app, since it can't be a favorite if I don't have it.

Amazon SHOULD counter sue. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231019)

Amazon failed as far as I'm concerned. This was a ridiculously stupid lawsuit and Amazon really should counter sue to make up legal costs.

Oh give me a F@#$ing break (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44231127)

Apple must think that their customer base is made up of slagabouts and hufflepuffs!! I'd like to take Apple to court cuz their licensing sucks.

Genericism (2)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#44231783)

"App" is a generic self-descriptive term meaning application going back to the 70s. "Store" is a generic term going back centuries. The two together are also generic and self-descriptive.

You can't have a self-descriptive genericism as a trademark and get away with it if someone has the balls to try to take it away from you.

Microsoft almost lost their trademark to Windows because of this (and handed a pile of money to Linspire to shut up about it).

--
BMO

Re:Genericism (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | about a year ago | (#44233723)

Windows isn't really a generic self-descriptive term for an operating system, so I don't think a Windows trademark dispute has any bearing on this issue.

I don't know about the 70s but I do know killer app was a term whose peak popularity predated the iPhone.

Re:Genericism (2)

Pfhorrest (545131) | about a year ago | (#44234345)

At the time in question, Windows was not an operating system. It was a windowing system that ran on their operating system, which contrary to popular usage was not just called "DOS" because that's also a generic descriptor of any disk operating system -- it was specifically MS-DOS, like Apple's app stores are specifically the iOS App Store and the Mac App Store.

So Windows was software which gave your computer windows, in the same way that The App Store (whichever one) is a store where you buy apps. Both equally generic in their respective timeframes.

Re:Genericism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44237509)

At the time in question, Windows was not an operating system.

Yes, it was. Windows NT had been around for some years before Lindows was founded and WIndows NT was a proper OS. Lindows was founded in August 2001, the same month that Windows XP was released to manufacturers.

Re:Genericism (1)

Plumpaquatsch (2701653) | about a year ago | (#44250237)

"App" is a generic self-descriptive term meaning application going back to the 70s. "Store" is a generic term going back centuries. The two together are also generic and self-descriptive.

Quite obviously so - that's why thousands have used the combination before Apple. It's just that nobody can find an example.

It's so much clearer now (4, Funny)

Krishnoid (984597) | about a year ago | (#44231839)

With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps.

Amazon?

Is "App store" usage free now? (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year ago | (#44233415)

Does that nullify the "App store" trade mark? Is any random project allowed to use it now?

Re:Is "App store" usage free now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44234591)

Probably not at least officially since the case was dropped. And I suspect that is one big reason for doing it. Amazon victory would probably have done that officially also. I guess it's unlikely Apple would raise new suits, but they can still threaten the small ones still and at minimum avoid loss of face (and thus share value).

Re:Is "App store" usage free now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44234609)

Sure, any random project with pockets as deep as Amazon's. There was no ruling, Apple withdrew the complaint.

Re:Is "App store" usage free now? (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year ago | (#44237837)

Sure, any random project with pockets as deep as Amazon's. There was no ruling, Apple withdrew the complaint.

I thought you had to defend a trademark in order for it to remain valid?

Microsoft(tm)(r)(c) Cars(tm)(r)(c) (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44233851)

> 'App Store'

I haven't heard anything this idiotic since Microsoft was allowed to trademark "Windows" to cover their particular version of already well and long-established concept of a computerized windowing system.

An App Store (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44234449)

An App Store is a store to buy apps. Like a drug store is a store to buy drugs. A food store is a store to buy...... food! You are getting the hang of it!

Two gorillas scratching each other (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44234483)

It sure does make me laugh my ass off watching these 2 gorillas scratching each other off to find a bald patch and finding it a difficult hairy situation.

lawyers costs? (1)

snemiro (1775092) | about a year ago | (#44237959)

Probably most of the VPs saw the bill... the only people pushing the case to eternity were the lawyers....
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>