To Apple's dismay, a court ruling Wednesday allows Amazon to continue using the term "app store" in reference to its online marketplace for apps.
In 2011 Apple claimed that Amazon using the term was false advertising, and that customers might mistake Amazon's store for Apple's based on the terminology. The company sued Amazon for not only false advertising but also trademark infringement and unfair competition.
On Wednesday, an Oakland courtroom dismissed the part of the case against Amazon pertaining to false advertising claims. Judge Phyllis Hamilton said there was "no support for the proposition that Amazon has expressly or impliedly communicated that its Appstore for Android possesses the characteristics and qualities that the public has come to expect from the Apple App Store and/or Apple products."
Hamilton made a similar ruling in July.
Apple has applied for a trademark on the term "app store," however, has not been awarded ownership of the term. Several companies have attempted to block Apple's ability to trademark the name, including Microsoft, who claims the term is too generic to belong specifically to Apple.
In a motion for summary judgment on the matter Microsoft said, "Any secondary meaning or fame Apple has in 'App Store' is de facto secondary meaning that cannot convert the generic term 'app store' into a protectable trademark."
In response to that filing, Apple said that "The vastly predominant usage of the expression 'app store' in trade press is as a reference to Apple's extraordinarily well-known APP STORE mark and the services rendered by Apple thereunder."