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Amazon and Apple call a truce in lawsuit over 'app store' trademark

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Amazon Appstore Android (STOCK)
Amazon Appstore Android (STOCK)

Just in time for the fifth anniversary of Apple's App Store, Apple and rival Amazon have agreed to a truce in a long-running trademark infringement lawsuit over whether Amazon has the rights to use the term 'app store' in its own Amazon Appstore for Android. As Reuters reports, US District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, moved to dismiss the lawsuit today after Apple filed an agreement not to pursue further suits against Amazon over its use of the name. Amazon celebrated the move as a clear victory, with a lawyer for the company telling Reuters: "this was a decision by Apple to unilaterally abandon the case." Apple, for its part, countered that it did not need to pursue legal action against Amazon anymore because consumers had spoken clearly in their preference for the Apple App Store. "With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps," an Apple spokesperson said.

The lawsuit was originally filed by Apple in March 2011, just days after Amazon launched its Appstore for Android. Apple accused Amazon of violating its trademark on the App Store name, but Amazon countered that it was "unprotectable." And while it's certainly true that both online stores have similar sounding (and similarly spelled names), it's hard for us to imagine consumers mistaking either one for the other. In that sense, it's great that the companies have put the legal fighting behind them while continuing their battle to offer consumers more attractive devices with which to download apps.