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Apple Ends Feud With Amazon Over Use of 'Appstore'
Amazon is free to take a bite out of Apple's trademark for "app store" after the Silicon Valley company decided fighting over the phrase perhaps wasn't worth the squeeze.
The companies ended their feud over the use of the phrase, prompting U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton to dismiss the suit ahead of an August trial date.
"This was a decision by Apple to unilaterally abandon the case and leave Amazon free to use 'appstore,'" Amazon.com Inc. attorney Martin Glick, senior counsel in Arnold & Porter's San Francisco office, told Reuters on Tuesday. Partner Daniel Asimow and associate Sean Callagy also were on the case.
The spat, unlike other Apple IP battles with Android-aligned companies, is over a simple term: Apple Inc. calls its marketplace "app store," while Amazon went with "appstore."
Days after Amazon debuted its Appstore for Android in 2011, Apple sued, alleging the name of the rival mobile applications marketplace constituted infringement and false advertising. Apple tapped a litigation team from O'Melveny & Myers, including San Francisco partner David Eberhart and counsel David Sepanik.
Glick and his team then filed a counterclaim for declaratory relief the following month. Though high-profile, Apple's case never seemed to be on firm footing: Hamilton denied the company's request for a preliminary injunction to block Amazon from using the phrase in July 2011. The Oakland federal judge dealt the company another blow this January, tossing its false advertising claim.
Last month, Apple issued a covenant not to sue and asked to have its complaint dismissed, essentially ending the litigation. There was no settlement.
The news comes the same week that Apple is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its App Store and making some of its most popular applications free.
Glick deferred additional comment to Amazon, which issued a statement saying, "We're gratified that the court has conclusively dismissed this case. We look forward to continuing our focus on delivering the best possible appstore experience to customers and developers."
Eberhart did not respond to a request for comment.
This article originally appeared in The Recorder.