Generic? Apple Sues Amazon Over Its New Appstore

Don’t call it an app store. Apple has sued Amazon over the latter’s use of the term “Appstore,” with a spokeswoman saying that it “will confuse and mislead consumers,” tricking them into thinking they’re downloading software from its own App Store. Apple says it’s tried to contact Amazon at least three times, but Amazon hasn’t made any public comment yet.

The question here is, is “app store,” or any of its variants—App Store, Appstore, app store, etc.—generic enough to not warrant a trademark for Apple. No company is going to be launching a music store called iTunez any time soon, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who are looking to make a few dollars off the current app craze, as it were.

Other companies, however, have tried to stay as far away from the term “app store” as possible.

You download Android software from the Android Market. RIM launched its BlackBerry App World, perhaps to some snickers, two years ago. The Plex media center has Plex Online, and Boxee merely has Apps.

Not one thought it was a good idea to connect the words “app” with “store,” despite the fact that Microsoft recently tried to argue that “app store” is a “generic” phrase, like shoe store or toy store.