Amazon Uses Steve Jobs Words Against Him In App Store Dispute

from the app-store-me dept

You may recall that Apple has been trying to convince the world that there can be only one "app store," first by suggesting it really means Apple Store and then by suing Amazon for its own app store. Amazon has now responded to the lawsuit by using Steve Jobs own words against him:
In 2008 Apple launched its app store, which allows a consumer to view and instantly download apps for their Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. In press releases, Apple has claimed that its app store is "the largest application store in the world." In October 2010, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs called Apple's app store "the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone."
That certainly sounds like Apple and Jobs admitting that the term is generic. To further support its own position, Amazon notes to some linguists as well:
The American Dialect Society, a leading group of U.S. linguists, recently voted "app" as the "Word of the Year" for 2010, noting that although the word "has been around for ages," it "really exploded in the last 12 months" with the "arrival of 'app stores' for a wide spectrum of operating systems for phones and computers." Indeed, the words "app store" are commonly used among many businesses competing in the app store market.
It certainly looks like Apple may have a difficult job convincing anyone that app store is not generic.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    FuzzyDuck, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:14am

    Cool

    Apple is clearly wrong here, however I hope this becomes a long an costly battle for both of them...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:21am

    Re: Cool

    I'm just confused as to why the hell they care? Is suing Amazon over this REALLY a money maker? Or have they somehow convinced themselves that if only they can call their marketplace the "app store" that somehow that will lead to more revenue?

    Honestly, sometimes watching these goofballs is like watching my two dogs fight over the fake rubber bone toy that doesn't taste like anything. I always wonder why they fight over it.

    It's a rubber bone, you idiots!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Steve, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:30am

    Poor Apple

    Competition is heating up and if they loose their lawsuits they'll need to compete with actual innovation and value (to the consumer).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Paddy Duke (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Cool

    Of course, even dogs are smart enough to know that if they each have an identical bone to themselves, they’re both happy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Michael, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Cool

    Steve J has quite the ego.

    He was probably rubbed the wrong way about it at some point and (like the dogs you described) is simply incapable of letting something go.

    To steal part of a great quote, before he would let an argument go, he would "stand at the pearly gates and kick St. Peter right in the teeth"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    MattP, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:38am

    Re: Poor Apple

    Seems they've already 'loosed' their lawsuits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Cool

    Not mine. The female likes to have both bones in her mouth.

    She's like a pornstar that way....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Sneeje (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Cool

    You'd think, but after years of watching my kids and my dogs, I am amazed at how even the strategy of "purchasing identical things for everyone" still doesn't eliminate fighting.

    Either they fight over which one belongs to each person/dog or fight over the same one because for some odd reason that's the one everyone wants.

    I never had siblings, so maybe that's my gap in understanding.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    milrtime83 (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:45am

    Re: Cool

    @FuzzyDuck

    A long and costly battle for both of them essentially means higher prices for consumers....how is that a good thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:47am

    Re: Re: Cool

    Cry havoc and let slip the multi-million dollar dogs of petty lawsuits!

    Yeah, it doesn't have the same ring to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    FredMertzJr (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Cool

    -- I always wonder why they fight over it.

    It's never about the bone, rather who is the top dog. (read ego in this case).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    O Deer Gawd the images...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    Either they fight over which one belongs to each person/dog or fight over the same one because for some odd reason that's the one everyone wants.

    I never had siblings, so maybe that's my gap in understanding


    Yes, having siblings gives you a different perspective on most of those "fights". It's really a dominance thing, even if they are not conscious of that being the reason.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    wnyght (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:01am

    Amazing how petty the rich can be. Maybe someone should explain to them that life is short and they shouldn't waste it on stupid shit like this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:02am

    Re: Poor Apple

    I friggin hate lawsuits that aren't tight enough...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Mel (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:03am

    poor Amazon

    Since Apple is in a lawsuit with everyone else, they did not want Amazon to feel left out. The app store was the best infringement they could come up with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    taoareyou, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    Re: Re: Cool

    It would mean higher prices for the consumer only if the consumer didn't have options. Apple and Amazon have competitors. If Apple and Amazon increase the costs of their products and services, their consumers can simply shop somewhere else.

    I don't see the price of Android phones going up because of Apple's legal actions with Amazon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Apple... get a clue Jobs.

    Find ways to bring your product to market cheaper with less restrictions.

    It's costly and prohibitive - what more would a consumer want? (sarcasm).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    DB, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Sounds like Steve isn't making sense, unless I'm missing something. Even if he does mean "Apple Store" Amazon's counter would simple be, "application store" which is of no trademark issue...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    Next up...

    Applebees's and TGIFriday's app menus. Also, the word "apt," which was misheard by several frothing lawyers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:41am

    The nerd axiom proven true again

    "The smaller and more petty the fight, the more vicious it becomes."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:46am

    Apple doesn't need to win to come out ahead.

    Every day Apple can keep the issue in dispute is another day that apps will be harder to get for those using Android, and another day that Apple can keep building on the huge lead it currently has in installed customer base. Apple knows that its app store policies are pissing off developers. It also knows that at the moment there aren't any really viable alternatives. The moment the latter is no longer true, the former will push developers away from the iPhone, and thus kill Apple's dominance of the smartphone market. The longer Apple can keep competition from getting established, the longer Apple will be able to milk the iPhone for everything they can get.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Rich, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    Yeah, our dogs always wanted the bone the other one had.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Rich, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re: Poor Apple

    Just remember: lefty loosy, righty tighty!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    Re: Apple doesn't need to win to come out ahead.

    The only problem I see with this comment, is that this dispute in no way makes it harder to use or get apps for android users....

    The fight is with Amazon, As a droid user, It affects me, lets see, not at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    CommonSense (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Poor Apple

    I've got it written down on a note card that I refuse to lose!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Phillip (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 9:48am

    Re: Apple doesn't need to win to come out ahead.

    you have obviously never used an Android phone have you.

    This effects absolutely no one. Google Market still works the same.

    Amazon Appstore works just fine and is still called appstore until a court tells them otherwise. In fact I downloaded the free app of the day just a few hours ago. Even if they do have to change what it's called they'll just update their app and everything will continue working as before.

    This hurts effectively hurts no consumers, and does nothing for apple except to make them look petty and wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Phillip (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Apple doesn't need to win to come out ahead.

    as a droid user you can still get the appstore, and most people i know have it including me. They have 1 paid app for free everyday which has been very much worth it to me.
    http://twitter.com/#!/amazonappstore

    Other than that it's not much different then the Google Market.

     

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  29.  
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    cybercy2010 (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 9:56am

    Even better, they should quit wasting MY time on stupid shit like this. As has been noted by others, this kind of lawsuit is ridiculous and a waste of time and money that could be spent creating new features and products.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    xs (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 10:34am

    Re: Re: Cool

    Any sane business person would have sued Amazon for this. Apple's App store, generic name or not, has been used and treated as something specific to Apple since it started. Nobody else had an App store before Apple, and none since, until Amazon came up with their version.

    There's nothing accidental or inevitable about the Amazon's use of this name. They could have called it the App Mart, Amazon Store, Amazon Apps, whatever. But they deliberately choose to use a name identical to Apple's to ride Apple's coat tail.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Mike Raffety (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Trademarking "app store"

    I don't recall Apple EVER putting that little "TM" or the "R in a circle" after the term "app store". Probably not a requirement, but certainly an important indication of their (lack of) intention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Fushta, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Cool

    Respectfully, I disagree. If the tag "App Store" was exclusive to Apple, then if someone told me they bought an app via "the" app store, I would ask them which one? Apple, Android, Amazon? It is a generic tag that does not point directly to Apple.

    Even Jobs used it in a generic way by saying, "...the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world." He's admitting there are other app stores in the world, hence generic. It's no different than the tag "grocery store." Just like the grocery store is a place to buy groceries, an app store is a place to buy apps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Cool

    cellmania, sprint, handango, verizon and handmark would like to have a few words with you regarding your statement that no one had and application store before apple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    xs (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    You are not making any sense.

    "If the tag "App Store" was exclusive to Apple, then if someone told me they bought an app via "the" app store, I would ask them which one? Apple, Android, Amazon? "

    You would only ask "which one" when the term App Store does not exclusively designate Apple's application store. Since Android's store was called Android Market, and Amazon's store didn't exist before Apple's, you wouldn't have had this confusion, until Amazon's store that is.

    So it's very clear Amazon's use of App Store has created confusion in the market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    danielz1, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 12:09pm

    be consistant

    Apple popularized the term App Store... why not let them have it?

    But let's say that terms that were very generic are not allowed to be used as a trademark. I would be all for that. But the issue is that companies get Trademarks on already used terms... such as windows. Windows was used widely in the 'real' computing industry before Microsoft belatedly tossed their hat into the ring.

    And they got what? Windows as a Trademark. Why? Because someone was really dumb and asleep at the Trademark office, and perhaps because a far-behind the curve company needed a way to make itself stand out... what better way than using a already popular term?

    Then... we have SQL as an existing name. And Server as an existing name. Why not, when you find yourself behind the curve, yet again, use two (2) common and widely used names (please note that these names were also widely used together as well), to try to capitalize on generic terms?

    If you can not argue with structured thoughts, please, at least argue with consistency.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    xs (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    READ before you post, will you?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_digital_distribution_platforms_for_mobile_devices

    No ne of the stores that openned before Apple's App Store named itself the "App Store" or used "App Store" as part of its name.

    Apple's law suit with Amazon is the use of "App Store" as the name of its application store, not the application store itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    xs (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Trademarking "app store"

    Their application to tradmark the term "App Store" is probably a stronger sign

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Cool

    So, any sane person would piss a bunch of money down the drain fighting a fight they can't possibly win? Stevie J is nothing close to sane anymore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Fushta, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    I don't call Android's app store the "Android Market," nor the "Google Market." I call it the "Android app store" because it's where I buy/download my Android apps. It's generic. See my analogy about "grocery stores." Don't deflect, and ask your boss, Mr. Jobs why he used the tag in a generic way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Gordon (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    But you've completely avoided the most important question. If Steve Jobs himself has been quoted as saying

    "...the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world."

    Hasn't he, himself made it a generic term? The answer to that is simply a "Yes Mr. Gordon sir, he has."

    My 2 cents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    xs (profile), Apr 27th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    Your comment shows exactly why Apple must sue Amazon. Vigrous defence of tradmark is one way to avoid it becoming a generic term.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    nonanonymous, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    So it's very clear Amazon's use of App Store has created confusion in the market.

    So when Steve Jobs said "...the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world" he was confused by Amazon's creation of its app store in the future? Because clearly, Steve thought there were other "app stores" competing with Apple, since he emphasized how theirs is easiest/largest. You don't get to say "largest" if there is nothing else out there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Re: Cool

    Fuck I hate Apple.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Tony E, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 6:22am

    Sounds like childish bickering, to me.

    Steve: "What I said was it means Apple Store"
    Amazon: "Nuh uh, you said application store!"
    S: "No I didn't!"

    But seriously, why would app be short for apple?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Colin, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    Apple's store and Amazon's store are completely different. It's apps and oranges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Apr 28th, 2011 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Poor Apple

    iz splt 'refoose to loose'. lern ta spel u a-hol.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    David, Apr 28th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

    Filthy cash

    I understand that App....le is currently worth about 60 billion dollars, so they obviously need the money that any court win would bring.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Doug, May 7th, 2011 @ 1:46pm

    Apple and thier cows

    Most "iFans" under the age of 20 thinks that Apple invented the mp3 player.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    It's already generic. It's a store that sells apps. A store that sells groceries cannot trademark the name "grocery store." Steve Jobs even used it generically. They used a generic name for their store. The term "app" existed before Apple used it. The term "store" obviously existed.

    You're misunderstanding the entire concept of trademarks. It's so people don't get confused. No one is gonna go to Amazon Appstore to buy stuff for an iPod because its actually impossible.

    You've been fooled by Apple and other lawsuit happy companies into thinking trademarks are for protecting the name, not the customer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Cool

    You can't trademark generic terms. It was generic before it was trademarked, not the other way around. That's the part you seem to be missing.

    You're failing to realize that Apple isn't actually perfect and sometimes are a bunch of bullies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Trademarking "app store"

    If you leave that off, it makes it look like you don't want to defend it anymore...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 2nd, 2011 @ 5:55am

    Re: be consistant

    "Microsoft SQL Server" is trademarked, "SQL Server" is not. Windows is generic as an OS element, but not as an OS.

    Everyone who points that out is trying to justify this, but it simply isn't the same. You need to reason this through before bringing it up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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