While not the most high-profile lawsuit in the tech sphere, Apple and Amazon have quietly been engaged in a legal battle over the term “app store.” The case revolved around usage: Apple claimed that it had the sole right to use the term “app store,” as they believed that consumers immediately thought of Apple’s iOS or Mac software storefront when presented with the phrase. Amazon, who has boldly used the term in its own software offerings, claimed that the phrase is just a generic description of a service that any company can use.
Apple sued Amazon over that belief and their usage of “app store,” thus creating what ultimately amounted to a wasteful lawsuit. Why wasteful? Because it’s over, without a judgement — the two companies today announced that they have ended the lawsuit, with the ultimate decision being that Amazon can, in fact, use the phrase freely.
Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet had this to say:
We no longer see a need to pursue our case. With more than 900,000 apps and 50 billion downloads, customers know where they can purchase their favorite apps.
While perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the response may be accurate. The largest competitor to Apple’s App Store is not run by Amazon, but is instead the Google Play Store. In a fairly distant third place is Microsoft’s storefront for Windows 8 apps.