Should “apps store” really be “Apps Store®,” a trademarked phrase tied exclusive to Apple and its application store for its devices? Amazon didn’t seem to think so. But when it opened the Amazon Appstore for Android, the online retailer still got slapped with a lawsuit from Apple.
For its legal defense, Amazon took a stance similar to Microsoft: That “app store” is a generic term and can’t be given copyrighted status. To support its position, Amazon filed court papers that quote a group of U.S. linguistic experts on the popular use of “app store”–including Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ own words as an example.
Amazon’s lawyers wrote:
In press releases, Apple has claimed that its app store is ‘the largest application store in the world.’ In October 2010, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs called Apple’s app store ‘the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone.’
Well played, Amazon… Well played.