Apple Should Cease And Desist 'App Store' Trademark Push
Can't Apple take a hint? The company continues to try to enforce its trademark on the term "App Store" despite a recent court setback in the matter. Independent app store (oops, is that a trademark violation?) GetJar last week said it was hit with a cease-and-desist letter from Apple in connection with its use of "App Store" on its site and elsewhere, saying GetJar should refrain from using the term in the future.
GetJar CEO Ilja Laurs issued a statement blasting Apple and saying the company would continue using "App Store" to describe its business. "This move by Apple is yet more proof that the company tends to act as if it is above the law, and even as one of the smaller players in the space, we won't be bullied by Apple," he wrote.
In a separate blog post, GetJar CMO Patrick Mork chimed in, "GetJar won't be subject to this kind of bullying. We're not going to 'Cease & Desist.' We were here long before Steve & Co. We were built by developers, to help developers. Not to sell handsets or search results." So there.
The clash with GetJar erupted about the same time Apple was denied a preliminary injunction in its trademark case against Amazon in relation to the online retailer's launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android in March. In a July 6 ruling, U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton found Apple had not "established a likelihood of success as the infringement claims" that Amazon had diluted its App Store brand. That's especially because Amazon doesn't sell apps for Apple devices, she reasoned.
A trial in that case is set for October. Separately, Microsoft has gone to court to try to get Apple's trademark on the term invalidated. A Wall Street Journal article Monday noted that while GetJar, which earlier this year landed $25 million in new funding, may have the resources to fight Apple, others don't. It cited a software company called Amahi that is holding a contest to rename its app marketplace.
Apple last week announced that the App Store had surpassed 15 billion downloads, putting it way, way ahead of any competing businesses. It also boasts 425,000 titles. Given Apple's dominance in the market it essentially created, it would be very hard to confuse the App Store with anything else.