Amazon wins ruling on 'appstore' case vs. Apple
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) scored a significant win against rival Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) thanks to a judge's ruling that Amazon's Appstore for Android is not being falsely advertised. In 2011, Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon to block the online retail giant from using the term "app store" for its Android application storefront. Apple argued that Amazon hoped to mislead users looking for Apple's own App Store.
However, the ruling does not cover Apple's trademark infringement claims over Amazon's Appstore. A trial over that issue is scheduled for August.
"Apple has presented no evidence that consumers or customers understand 'app store' to include specific qualities or characteristics or attributes of the Apple App Store, or that any customers were misled by Amazon's use of the term," wrote U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in the ruling.
Apple declined to comment on the ruling, according to media reports, and Amazon didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
The case is among the first clear signs of combat between Apple and Amazon. Amazon launched its Appstore for Android in 2011 in the United States, and the company has since expanded the offering to a number of international markets including Europe and Japan. Further, Android developers consistently generate substantially greater revenues per user in the Amazon Appstore than in the rival Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront, according to data published earlier this year by app store analytics firm Flurry. For every $1 yielded by Apple's pacesetting App Store for iOS, Amazon Appstore drives an average of $0.89 per user, while Google Play earns developers just $0.23 per user, Flurry reports. Flurry credits Appstore for Android's success to Amazon's digital retail prowess, noting Google's strengths are its search tools and advertising technologies.
Apple, for its part, helped grow the market for smartphone apps with the 2008 introduction of its App Store for the iPhone. The store today contains more than 700,000 apps and has paid out more than $1 billion to developers.
In the past year, Amazon has dramatically expanded its war against Apple to include battles in tablets, cloud services and streaming media sales. Meanwhile, Apple has worked to revamp its own App Store and increase sales of its iPads and iPhones.
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