Apple and Amazon have finally ended the App Store legal tussle that has been going on since 2011, according to a recently released court order. The court has now allowed Apple to dismiss the suit that it had filed two years ago, which prevented Amazon from using the name App Store for its native Android software market.
U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California on Tuesday ordered that the case be dismissed at the companies' request, averting a trial that had been scheduled for August 19. This ruling came on the heels of Apple issuing Amazon a covenant not to sue over the online retailer’s use of the term, which basically eliminated the need for Amazon to get a counterclaim to get permissions for the name.
The timeline of the “App Store War” first saw Apple launch applications for mobile devices through its App Store service in July 2008. Three years later, Amazon came up with its own Amazon Appstore for Android. Apple immediately filed a lawsuit against that.
Apple and Amazon have ended the legal tussle over App Store trademarks...
While talking about the decision, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said, "We no longer see a need to pursue our case." Rationalising the decision, Huguet said, "With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps."
According to an interview with Martin Glick, a lawyer for Amazon, the company has said that "this was a decision by Apple to unilaterally abandon the case, and leave Amazon free to use 'appstore'."
Talking about the impact this decision has on Amazon, the company spokeswoman Mary Osako said, "We're gratified that the court has conclusively dismissed this case. We now look forward to continuing our focus on delivering the best possible appstore experience to customers and developers."
In the past, Apple had alleged that Amazon was misusing the "App Store" name in connection with the sales of apps for Android devices and the Kindle Fire, a tablet that competes with Apple's iPad. The lawsuit itself revolved around alleged trademark violations and false advertising.
In response to the allegations, Amazon said that the term "App Store" had become so well used that the online retailer’s use of it was in no way misleading customers. Reinforcing its stance, Amazon had said in a court filing that even Apple head honcho Tim Cook had used the term generically while discussing "the number of app stores out there." Apple’s Steve Jobs had also been seen earlier talking about the "four app stores on Android," according to Amazon.
In January, Hamilton was seen dismissing Apple's claim of false advertising. While it is still not certain why Apple chose to dismiss its claim, it can be assumed that Hamilton's ruling in January may have played a part in the company rethinking its stance on the trademark issue.
With inputs from Reuters