"App Store" vs "Appstore:" Apple vs Amazon in trademark dispute

The Amazon Appstore launches today, and the folks overseeing the Apple App Store are none too happy.

You see, Apple believes that consumers will be confused by the similar names: "App Store" and "Appstore." The folks at Amazon like the comparisons, and of course, chose their name so as to draft-off consumer's understanding of the type of marketplace where mobile applications are sold--a consumer perception pioneered by Apple.

So, this week, Apple filed a lawsuit in California federal court, seeking to prevent Amazon from using the Appstore name. "We've asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told Reuters.

One would expect that Amazon knew what it was doing when it named its online marketplace "Appstore." Drafting off of a commonly used concept moves the conversation of your brand farther along--an easier process than trying to create a new brand and having to explain to consumers what it does.

Other app store competitors such as Microsoft, Google, Nokia, Research in Motion (Blackberry), Sprint, Verizon chose not to use the term "App Store" when branding their online storefronts for mobile applications. For example, Microsoft uses the term "Marketplace" to refer to its service and uses the descriptor 'virtual store for apps.'"

Sources: Los Angeles Times, The New York Times

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