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Amazon responds to Apple's 'Appstore' suit

Amazon has fired back against Apple's lawsuit seeking to get the online retail giant to stop using the term "Appstore." Amazon says the term is too generic and Apple doesn't own it.


It's been more than a month since Apple sued Amazon over the use of the term "Appstore" for its mobile software distribution marketplace, and Amazon has finally fired back with a countersuit.

In a 10-page document filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and picked up GeekWire, Amazon goes through Apple's original claims one by one, saying that "App Store" is too generic, and that it wants Apple's case dismissed. To back up those claims, the company even cites a quote from Apple CEO Steve Jobs during an Apple earnings call from back in October, where Jobs refers to similar offerings on Android as "app stores."

Apple sued Amazon last month in a response to the company's use of the term "Appstore" as the name for its application market for Android. At the time, and in its claim against Amazon, Apple said the move was to keep people from getting confused or misled.

As for whether Apple actually owns the rights to the two words, that's still up in the air. The company is in the middle of trying to get the "app store" name trademarked, a move that hasn't gone unnoticed by competitors.

Back in January, Microsoft began a legal battle with the company urging the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny Apple's claims, saying the term was too generic. Both sides have since brought on numerous linguistic experts and researchers who have pointed to dictionary entries as well as press coverage to paint a picture that the term is either owned wholly by Apple, or not by anyone. The most recent movement in that case was a filing at the beginning of the month, with Apple requesting oral arguments between the two companies, since the filings from both sides have reached 1,400 pages.

Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet said the company had no new comment on the suit. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.