It looks like Steve Jobs may have found his Waterloo in his war to defend Apple’s application to trademark the phrase “App Store.” A federal judge has advised the company that it will likely lose its lawsuit against Amazon.com over the e-tailer’s Appstore.
U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton said today after a hearing in Oakland, California, that she is “probably” going to deny the motion because Apple hasn’t demonstrated confusion among consumers. Hamilton said she will review court filings before issuing a final decision.
Apple’s difficulty demonstrating “real evidence of actual confusion” among consumers is a “stumbling block for Apple,” Hamilton said in court. “I’m troubled by the showing that you’ve made so far, but that’s where you’re likely not to prevail at this early juncture.”
The App Store War began earlier this year when Microsoft filed its opposition to Apple’s trademark application, saying that the phrase was as generic as “shoe store” or “toy store.”
Things heated up in the spring when Amazon launched its online Appstore to sell Android-based phone and tablet applications. In response to Apple’s lawsuit, Amazon used Jobs’ own words against him. The Apple VIP had previously called his company’s App Store ‘the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world,” implying that it is a generic term for a store in which one purchases apps.
Earlier this week, Apple caused many readers to scratch their heads after it issued a cease and desist order to a small software company for using the phrase, even though that company’s App Store had nothing to do with the mobile market.
Apple Bid to Bar Amazon ‘Appstore’ Will ‘Likely’ Be Denied [Businessweek.com]