Judge tosses Apple's 'false advertising' claim against Amazon

Judge tosses Apple's 'false advertising' claim against Amazon

Summary: Part of Apple's App Store court case against Amazon has been tossed out of the courtroom.

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TOPICS: Apple, Amazon
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Part of Apple's App Store court case has been tossed out of the courtroom, a judge ruling that 'false advertising' cannot be used as a claim against online retailer Amazon.

apple amazon court case false advertising claim tossed judge app store

According to Reuters, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled in Oakland, California that Apple cannot use the claim of "false advertising" within its complaint, dismissing the idea that Amazon is using the term "App Store" to try and confuse consumers into thinking that somehow the online retailer's Android store is somehow affiliated with Apple's iOS variant.

Where Amazon views the term "App Store" as too generic to be trademarked, Apple believes that as it set the mark for the concept of a mobile application store, the iPad and iPhone maker should control the term and subsequent advertising.

Instead, Hamilton ruled that the term "App Store" has become generic enough that the term does not necessarily correlate solely with Apple anymore, and so there was no substantial evidence to back up the claim of false advertising or claims. Apple's hope was that Amazon would eventually be forced to remove the term from its mobile app marketplace.

Amazon requested a partial summary judgement over Apple's allegations of false advertising, which was granted. Hamilton wrote in her partial summary ruling:

"Apple has failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement, express or implied, of fact that actually deceived or had the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of its audience. The mere use of 'Appstore' by Amazon to designate a site for viewing and downloading/purchasing apps cannot be construed as a representation that the nature, characteristics, or quality of the Amazon Appstore is the same as that of the Apple App Store."

In addition, Apple has brought other complaints to the table, including trademark infringement within the mobile application store. A trial for the remaining claims is scheduled for August this year.

Topics: Apple, Amazon

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34 comments
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  • Good good

    Another blow against ridiculous attempts to patent/copyright the blatantly obvious. Yes apple had the first major success with an app store but apps were around before the ipod and I find it farcical that apple should even attempt to assert they invented the concept.
    Apple don't seem to be doing very well in court at the moment, I wonder if it will temper their enthusiasm for spurious legal campaigns?
    Little Old Man
    • If it was blatantly obvious then

      why did no one else have one before Apple? Pretty much everything is obvious AFTER someone has thought of it.
      baggins_z
      • You want to go on the record with this one?

        Please state categorically that apple invented the app store and that before apple, there was no ability to purchase, download, and install applications from an online store.

        Too funny. Defend the hive.
        toddbottom3
        • Yet again you deliberately refuse

          to understand Apple's business model. It isn't to invent something that didn't exist before, it's to take what's out there and make it so it doesn't suck to use.

          It really isn't that hard to understand, so either you are stupid, or you are dishonest.
          baggins_z
          • YOU were the one who wrote this

            "why did no one else have one before Apple?"

            Are you now going to back away from this statement? If so, why did you write it in the first place when you knew it was a lie?
            toddbottom3
          • Apple Has Never Invented Anything Since Original Apple Computers!

            The App "acronym" for Application goes back at least two decades. The first developers to use it were those working on BeOS. BeFree, BeBits, etc were (still are) all App stores and were marketed as such. Then Java Developers began to pick up on calling Java Applications "Apps" as well. Followed by Apple themselves copying them by calling Applications (programs) made for OS X in house being called "Apps". But make no mistake the acronym "App" had already been in wide circulation even back to the 80's. Even Amiga developers called their applications... Apps!

            It's a GENERIC TERM! ......and "Store"? Oh come on..... tell us how it sucks to use a TV? lol... any TV by most any manufacturer. Both Motorola and Samsung have been in both the TV business (Moto set top boxes) and mobile phone business longer. It was Apple's Marketing and development of iOS that got them into the phone market. All of the other companies already had better hardware and the success of Apple was actually built on their parts suppliers (Samsung and LG) backs. Plus the failure of Microsoft and Nokia to innovate mobile operating systems, rather than their own hardware innovations. First capacitive touchscreen smartphone belongs LG w/ Prada no doubt. First gestures on touchscreens had already been copied by iphone from Neonode (2003) and Samsung's SGH-Z610 out in early 2006.

            Get Jar (largest independent App Store) has been around since 2004. That's over 4 yrs before Apple App Store finally opened in 2008! ........and BeBits the First Real Application Download store came out in 1995!!!

            Microsoft's Game App Store also launched in 2005. Sony had an awesome online App Store with a Virtual Interface even in 2001 for PS2 and it's what drove their exceptional profits, revenue and user base to the point it has yet to be surpassed on that model. There are estimates as high as 200 Million PS2's sold now. PS2 is still the largest single model distributed computer device in history. Multiple games grossed over $5 billion dollars in total revenue alone in it's first years. It is said that PS2 made more money for developers than any single platform in history with Total Revenues of more than $70 Billion Dollars for Software alone!

            Apple's business isn't to lose money ever. It's all built around offering as few choices as possible (notice iOS has very limited customizability choices). Apple only got into AppleTV to push their Proprietary Family of Products into new households. As we see that hasn't worked very well. Nobody has probably ever bought an AppleTV that didn't already have an Apple product! .......remember first AppleTV was out in March 2007!!!

            All you're really talking about is adding an AppleTV box to screens made by Samsung, LG or Sharp. Other than that Apple isn't bringing anything new even if they do bring out an Apple TV. The only people that would be willing or stupid enough to buy them over Visio, Samsung, Toshiba, Sony, LG, Sharp SMART TV's could be officially called confirmed iDiots! ......especially since they'd be so far overpriced!
            KronJohn
      • Man, did you go out of your way to miss the point

        "Apps", rounded rectangles, icons on a grid, etc, all existed LONG before Apple put them together in a different formation.

        There is nothing patentable, because the concepts already existed.

        Indeed, for Apple to throw tantrums is hilarious, since other companies do to Apple what Apple once did to other companies (e.g. Xerox)...

        Apple is ran by babies, screaming "MINE! MINE! MINE!"...

        And even before others used the same glib terminology, some were asking "Why is Apple using such general words? Why not 'iApp Store'? Why is Apple so lazy as to co-opt general words used elsewhere and try to make them its own?" (Google is no different, what with "Google Play" and all...) And the answer is simple, if you wanted to think about it...
        HypnoToad72
        • Yep. And keys and hammers

          and rollers and ink ribbons all existed before Christopher Sholes put them together in the classic QWERTY layout. Because, you see, HOW you put something together can be more revolutionary than WHAT you are putting together.
          baggins_z
          • Not very revolutionary, though.

            Before there was an "App Store" app per se, users could *gasp* go to the company website & download the software, or go to a file-server website (like FilePlanet, CNET, etc.) & download it. Depending on how advanced the site was, you could search by name, select by price range (including free), limit your search to a particular category, etc. Come to think of it, Apple's App Store is actually *limited* compared to those models, since you don't have a "list all" option, you can't change it to show more than 25 selections at a time, and you only have 2 options for selecting by price (paid vs. free).

            The only real difference between the "App Store" and the fileserver sites is, Apple won't let anyone mirror their content; you *have* to download it through Apple's servers. Yes, it makes it safer to download that way, but that's not a *new* feature either.
            spdragoo
        • The iPhone said it all

          The only company smart enough to put all the loose pieces together into the UI of the iPhone make Apple many notches above their competition.

          Now every smartphone looks like the iPhone and I just wonder why is it because they are too lazy and prefer to steal than to innovate.

          Whatever Apple took from Xerox were paid for not like some companies which stole blatantly.

          And Windows is perhaps just generic and I wonder how much did M$ paid to have it patented and registered.
          AdanC
          • not much

            Ever wonder why officially Microsoft always, *ALWAYS* referred Windows OS as "Microsoft Windows"?
            Because "Windows" can't be registered by itself therefore the correct registered term is "Microsoft Windows".

            Now if Apple registered the term "Apple's Apps Store" then they might have a case when Amazon directly use the whole term "Apple's Apps Store", otherwise they have no case. It's that simple.
            Samic
    • Today in other news...

      Today in other news, Apple patented the use of abbreviations, contractions, anachronisms, the dictionary, Roget's thesaurus, and every letter of the English alphabet. Updates at 11:00 will be broadcast in Sanscript. Be sure to tune in...
      mlashinsky
  • Apple Litigation Focused on the Wrong Things

    Really Apple? This is the best use of your time and money? "App Store" litigation? What's next, rounded rectangle litigation? Time to stop patenting and trademarking everything that the stupid USTPO will let you get away with - it's not worth anyone's time or money, even yours. You're not going to go thermonuclear on Google, Android, or Amazon via litigation of petty trademarks. Go after something more meaningful. Go the route that Microsoft has taken and sue Android OEMs for licensing fees. And then go one step further and sue Google directly or patent infringement. Now that would truly be "thermonuclear".
    Raised on 8-bits
    • Go the route that Microsoft has taken?

      That only works when you have a Monopoly. Microsoft went after partners, that also happened to make Android phones. Companies like Samsung also sell computers with Windows installed. So you know Microsoft is more than willing to swing the Windows club around at will. When it comes to companies that don't sell windows, these companies refuse to sign (think Motorola)
      Troll Hunter J
  • Nice

    I agree with the ruling, but understand and sympathize with Apple's plight. It was a good try, Apple, but you cannot own it all. Be happy wi then#1 APP store ...for now. I would be more furious over the skewed comparison between the Kindle Fire and iPad
    flyguy29
  • Recognize it for what it is...

    Just a brazen attempt to keep their name in the public's face at lowest cost possible. With legal actions which will be "reported" rather widely, they only have to pay a few (hundred?) sharks, and nothing to the "media" ......
    He he he - Even ZD couldn't resist leaving the stuff on the floor.
    Willnott
  • Apple's like the spoiled little rich kid

    Instead of creating innovative new products they go to court to protect innovation of yester year. This is 2013! Android, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft all have App stores. They all go by different names, but they still offer the same service. A simple way for consumers to purchase software. Apple's innovation has dropped off substantially. The last innovative product they had was the original iPad. They added an HD display, stretched out a phone, shrank an IPAD 2 and offered a weak attempt at a maps solution, but instead they gave consumers a 1960's road atlas in digital form. Stop wasting our court systems resources and spend a little more time on R&D.
    Rob.sharp
  • This should be apple's new year resolution

    Innovate.

    Don't litigate.

    Come on apple, I know that litigation and creating "me too" products are in your DNA but maybe you can turn things around in 2013? Well, that is if you even know it is 2013. Judging from your iphone DND code, you probably still think it is 2012.
    toddbottom3
    • toddbuttom3,

      Thanks for posting this same post on multiple articles. This proves your daytime job is an Ultima Online resource scripter!!
      TimeForAChangeToBetter
  • Apple as a litigation company

    What is it with Apple these days? Are they trying to get out of the IT business and into a the litigation business? They do just fine without suing everyone in sight, why not just stick to making what are arguably good technology products?
    bobert11