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Apple Sues Over Trademarked “App Store”

March 22, 2011

Photo by Markus Hagenlocher. Some rights reserved.

Apple Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Seattle’s own Inc. over the phrase “App Store,” which Apple registered for trademark in 2008. In the complaint, Apple states that the use of this name will convince customers that Apple has somehow sponsored Amazon’s new mobile app download service.

Though the trademark on “App Store” was approved, it is currently being challenged by Microsoft Corp. and is slated to appear before the appeals board of the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Perhaps Apple is still angry that it had to buy the rights to the name “Macintosh” back in the late 1970s because of its phonetic similarity to McIntosh Laboratory Inc., a New York-based audio equipment company. The McIntosh apple, for which the computer was eventually named, was first discovered in 1811 in Ontario; multiple patents are held for mutations of the McIntosh, including the Dwarf McIntosh and the Mariela.

An interesting side note: Charles Macintosh first patented his waterproof cloth in 1823 in Scotland, and the first rain jackets that bore his name were made a few years later. The variant spelling of this Scottish surname, Mackintosh, became popularized in the early 20th century; the company name, Mackintosh Ltd., now reflects that colloquial version.


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