In January 2011, I wrote about my belief that an app store is an app store and both the terms app and store are generic meaning together they become yet another generic term. Certainly the nuances of the legal system make my assertion a bit basic but having lived through a similar lawsuit which was eventually settled based on the fact the plaintiff must have realized the terms they were suing over were generic as well.
At the time, the post I penned was about Microsoft being sued by Apple for using the term app store – then more recently I wrote about Apple suing Amazon over their use of the same term for their store.
My feeling was the case would settle with Apple using “Apple App Store” & Amazon using “Amazon App Store.” Seems the case “settled” without the need for this to happen as the parties agreed to walk away from the suit which is really a smart move on Apple’s part because it is really difficult to prove app store is not generic when going up against Amazon’s virtually unlimited legal funds.
Moreover, Steve Anderson writes about the matter:
As for why Apple dropped its case, Apple’s Kristin Huguet summed it up in her remarks: “We no longer see a need to pursue our case. With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps.”
This statement tells us that Apple really had an uphill battle showing there is any confusion in the marketplace because Amazon has a store by the same name. In other words, if you can’t prove confusion of a substantial nature, you have a tough time getting a court to force another company to change its name, business practices, etc.
Let’s hope this case sets a trend of lawsuits over patents which get settled quickly or dropped altogether so the market can focus more on innovation and less on legal bills.