Judge rejects part of Apple App Store suit vs Amazon

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Jan 2, 2013 11:27pm IST

Customers leave the Apple store after buying iPad minis in London November 2, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files

Customers leave the Apple store after buying iPad minis in London November 2, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday rejected part of Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) lawsuit against Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN.O) use of the term App Store, ruling Apple cannot bring a false advertising claim against the online retailer.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, granted Amazon's motion for partial summary judgment, which only challenged Apple's false advertising allegations. Apple leveled other claims against Amazon, including trademark infringement.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, and an Amazon representative could not be reached immediately.

Amazon has stepped up competition against Apple in recent years, launching its cheaper Kindle tablet computer to go after the dominant iPad and trying to lure mobile application developers to its Kindle platform.

One of the first public clashes in their tussle was Apple's 2011 lawsuit.

Apple accused Amazon of misusing what it calls its APP STORE to solicit developers for a mobile software download service. However, Amazon said its so-called Appstore has become so generic that its use could not constitute false advertising.

In a legal filing last year, Amazon added that even Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and his predecessor, Steve Jobs, used the term to discuss rivals. Cook commented on "the number of app stores out there" and Jobs referred to the "four app stores on Android."

In her ruling on Wednesday, Hamilton wrote that the mere use of "Appstore" by Amazon cannot be taken as a representation that its service is the same as Apple's.

"Apple has failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement (express or implied) of fact that actually deceived or had the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of its audience," Hamilton wrote.

A trial on Apple's remaining claims is scheduled for August.

The case is Apple Inc v. Amazon.com Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 11-01327. (Additional reporting by Alistair Barr in San Francisco; Editing by Tim Dobbyn and Jeffrey Benkoe)

FILED UNDER:

TECH WRAP

Reuters Showcase

GDP Growth

GDP Growth

India's economic growth revised up by almost 50 pct.  Full Article 

Stake Sale

Stake Sale

Strong demand for Coal India boosts privatisation drive.  Full Article 

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Child Trafficking

Child Trafficking

Police find hundreds of child slaves making bangles - media   Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

England Beat India

England Beat India

England reach final after Taylor-made victory.  Full Article 

Change Of Heart

Change Of Heart

Justin Bieber says dropping 'arrogant' and 'conceited' attitude  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage