A California court has rejected Apple’s claim that Amazon’s use of “Appstore” for its Android application marketplace was “false advertising.” Apple had filed a lawsuit in 2011, saying that Amazon’s use of “Appstore” could cause confusion among consumers.
Apple was alleging that the use of the word “Appstore” in Amazon’s advertising is false advertising, but as Amazon explained in its filing, that word is part of the name of Amazon’s store. “It is not a statement about the nature, characteristics, or qualities of Amazon’s store, much less a false one,” the document stated. U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, apparently agreed on this matter.
The false advertising claim was only one of the tactics Apple was using in the case against Amazon, and the rejection only represents a partial summary judgement in the case. The decision regarding trademark infringement has not yet been decided.
In its defense, Amazon cited times where former Apple CEO Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook referred to competitors’ stores, calling them “app stores,” during press events and investor calls.
In the ruling, the court says it found “no evidence that a consumer who accesses the Amazon Appstore would expect that it would be identical to the Apple APP STORE, particularly given that the Apple APP STORE sells apps solely for Apple devices, while the Amazon Appstore sells apps solely for Android and 8 Kindle devices.”