Apple, Amazon ordered to try settlement in 'app store' suit

Even though Apple's ongoing case against Amazon over its use of the term "app store" is scheduled to go to trial, the judge wants the companies to work to settle beforehand.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

A judge has ordered Apple and Amazon to meet to try to work out an agreement about whether "app store" is a generic term before the case goes to court.

U.S. Judge Elizabeth Laporte ordered the two companies to meet on March 21 with their attorneys in tow and work to negotiate and settle the lawsuit, according to Bloomberg. It seems that the judge is looking to find other ways for the companies to come to an agreement besides taking the matter to trial.

The battle began in March 2011 when Apple sued Amazon accusing the online retail giant of misappropriating the "App Store" moniker, a name it attempted to trademark in 2008 following the launch of the App Store for iPhone.

The complaint was later amended to include Apple's claimsof Amazon's "false advertising." Apple said that Amazon changed its "Amazon Appstore for Android" naming convention to just "Amazon Appstore" in order to distance ties from Google's Android in ads for its Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon fired back by referring to the term as generic. And, siding with Amazon earlier this month, another California judge ruled that the "false advertising" portion of the complaint must be omitted.

This case is the latest between Apple and another company over the rights to use "App Store" and "Appstore." Apple owns the rights to both marks in Europe but not in the U.S., where its trademark application for App Store is pending approval. An effort by Microsoft, HTC, Nokia, and Sony Ericsson in May 2011 sought to invalidate Apple's trademarks in Europe.

If a settlement is not reached between Apple and Amazon, the case is scheduled to go to trial in August.

CNET contacted Apple and Amazon for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.