An APP STORE by Any Other Name Would Still Smell Like Apples


I use a well-publicized decision to teach some important concepts about intellectual property law to non-specialists. The idea is that non-specialists, even non-lawyers, would benefit from this basic knowledge, even if they retain counsel for specific questions. At a minimum, it'll help non-specialists frame their questions for their specialist counsel, but it should also create awareness of some of the common avoidable pitfalls and mistakes. In this article, the well-publicized (and controversial) decision arises from Apple's failed attempt to block Amazon from using APP STORE to describe Amazon's mobile application retail website in July of this year. The decision shows the value of federal trademark registration and teaches about the basic trademark concepts of genericness (and trademark strength in general) and likelihood of confusion. Thanks for reading!

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