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January 2, 2013

Judge pours cold water on Apple’s App Store battle with Amazon

Key element of the suit dismissed.

By CBR Staff Writer

A federal judge of US District Court in Oakland, California has dismissed part of Apple’s lawsuit against online retailer Amazon over use of the term Appstore.

The decision of judge Phyllis Hamilton follows Amazon’s request in September last year to reject Apple’s ‘false’ advertising claim in a lawsuit.

Hamilton was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that Apple had failed to make clear how Amazon’s use of the word Appstore confused customers, particularly over whether they are accessing Apple’s services or Amazon’s.

"Apple contends that because its App Store offers so many more apps than Amazon’s Appstore, consumers will be misled into thinking that Amazon’s Appstore will offer just as many," Hamilton said.

"There is no evidence that a consumer who accesses the Amazon Appstore would expect that it would be identical to the Apple App Store."

Apple filed a lawsuit arguing that the iPad maker had the exclusive rights to the phrase because of its iTunes App Store, and demanded Amazon not use the term.

In response to Apple’s lawsuit, Amazon said that the term ‘App Store’ is generic and the iPhone maker should not be allowed exclusive rights to the term.

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A trial on Apple’s remaining claims is scheduled for August this year.

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