In a clash of the IT titans, Apple is suing Amazon in a bid to stop the online giant from using the name Appstore.
“It will confuse and mislead customers,” said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet, who believes that the name is too similar to its own App Store.
Apple also said that it had contacted Amazon three times to demand it stop using the name. Amazon has so far declined to comment.
And Apple is seeking to trademark the App Store name in the United States, a decision which, according to court papers, is still being considered by a trademark trial and appeals board
Microsoft, which is also looking to move into the apps marketplace with its new line of Windows phones, has asked officials to block the Apple trademark bid.
“An app store is an app store,” Russell Pangborn, Microsoft’s associate general counsel said in January. “Like shoe store or
toy store, it is a generic term that is commonly used by companies, governments and individuals that offer apps. The term ‘app store’ should continue to be available for use by all without fear of reprisal by Apple.”
Amazon’s Appstore has been accepting submissions since the beginning of the year, and the company has launched a dedicated blog to help developers. Like Apple, Amazon will curate the apps on offer and will hope that its trusted brand will give it an edge as the market for mobile applications widens.
For developers, access to Amazon’s tens of millions of customers worldwide offers the potential for huge revenues.
Another IT giant Google already offers its own store – Android Market – with over 200,000 applications available to download, but submissions to Amazon’s store will be standards-checked prior to being added.
The issue will probably take quite some sorting out. IT companies are no strangers to lengthy legal battles, especially when the stakes are so high.