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Amazon Appstore Goes Live - Apple Sues

David Gilbert


Amazon Appstore Goes Live - Apple Sues

Amazon finally launched its Appstore for Android this morning which has been in the works for some time but despite giving all those logging on a free copy of the exclusive Angry Birds Rio, the celebrations will have been soured somewhat as Apple has filed a suit against them for improper use of the term ‘app store’.

Of course we shouldn't really be surprised by the litigious nature of the folks over at Cupertino since they have already filed to have the term App Store trade marked – an application which has been challenged by Microsoft. Amazon obviously tried to avoid such a legal battle by shortening the term app store to one word, but this has not appeased Apple it seems. Apple says it tried to contact Amazon on three occasions to get them to change the name prior going down the legal route. Apple will once again have to prove that the App Store moniker is more than simply a generic term to describe a repository of applications if it wants to make Amazon to change the name.

Moving on to the Appstore for Android itself, Amazon has secured a major coup for the launch by getting exclusive access (for now) to the new version of Angry Birds called Rio. Not content with getting that exclusive, Amazon has decided to give away the app for free to all those who log onto the store today. Fear not though if you can’t get on today, Amazon plans on giving away a normally paid-for app for free every day. This is sure to help attract a large amount of users but whether they go beyond downloading the free app every day is another matter.

The Appstore has launched with 3,800 and is accessible through a dedicated Android app and online, however the online store crashed this morning soon after it went live. Hopefully this is just a technical issue and not anything more sinister. When working the online store should give customers a 30 minute trial of the app they are looking to purchase.

The Appstore for Android is currently available only in the US for moment but we would hope that Amazon will roll it out internationally in the near future should it prove a success across the Atlantic.

Source: All Things D


March 22, 2011, 1:38 pm

One nice innovation with the Amazon AppStore (or whatever it ends up being called after litigation) is the ability to try software out for a limited time before parting with your cash.

Should give Android's ecosystem a shot in the arm. It's one thing having millions of nice handsets out there - but something else altogether having a lively army of developers generating lots of buzz.


March 22, 2011, 1:44 pm

Is this live for UK yet? I can't find any reference to it on the amazon uk website


March 22, 2011, 2:04 pm

Really tempted to sue Apple for using the word "Apple"....


March 22, 2011, 2:14 pm

Sounds like a real sour deal for developers, far less control you don't even get to set the price:

"Upon submitting your application, you can set a ‘List Price’, which is the price you’d normally sell it at. Amazon will use a variety of market factors to determine what price it wants to use, and you get a 70% cut of the proceeds of each sale (which is the industry standard). In the event that Amazon steeply discounts your application, or offers it for free, you’re guaranteed to get 20% of the List Price."


March 22, 2011, 2:16 pm

The legal proceedings are not unexpected, after all if Apple had decided to use the term 1-Click on their store, they'd have Amazon on their backs too. It's just the stupid way companies work.


March 22, 2011, 2:43 pm

@notbenjamin - no, the Amazon AppStore is U.S.-only at this point.


March 22, 2011, 3:10 pm

to be honest "Appstore" is a pretty generic term. Hope apple lose this petty battle!

Ala Miah

March 22, 2011, 3:11 pm

Unless Apple have copyrighted the term 'Appstore' I dont see how they have a case. Is'nt it still a genereic term?


March 22, 2011, 3:58 pm

If you go to http://www.amazon.com/appstore you can see what the website and put in your email address to download the app. You can't purchase though without a US credit card.

Looks pretty cool, competition is always welcomed. Except in the case of Gameloft as their so called store is a complete disaster area.

Luan Bach

March 22, 2011, 5:29 pm

@Prem, Apple has already been sued for using "Apple". Settled.


March 22, 2011, 5:32 pm

There's no problem with Apple as it's not a generic computing term. If it was used in the context of an actual fruit company it would be different. Similarly a window company couldn't trademark Windows but in the context of an OS it's fine.

I'm not a lawyer but that's how I understand it.

App Store does seem a very generic and descriptive term. Steve has even used it himself to descirbe the stores on other mobile OSs.

Anyway, I'm off to XDA to find an apk for Amazon's new store.


March 22, 2011, 5:48 pm

"Patented" the term app store? Patents cover inventions, not words. What Apple are claiming is a trade mark in the term "app store", which is an entirely different breed of IP right.


March 22, 2011, 5:48 pm

@Ala Apple is thought to have trademarked (not copyright) the term App Store.

I suspect they'll lose but can't really blame them for trying. If you look at Amazon's side they even own a the trademark "End User", so clearly the system itself is broken.

I like the emulator stuff, that's a good idea. The market does take 8 steps to install on normal phones, so not sure how people will take it up...

However what I'm really baffled by are the developer T&Cs, I would not want to publish my software under such terms, its crazy. I could make only 20% of the list price at Amazon's discretion? Who do they think they are?

Much rather go to the normal Android Market, which people will already have on their phones too.

David Gilbert

March 22, 2011, 6:07 pm

@John McLean It is indeed, and the error has now been corrected. Thanks.

David Gilbert

March 22, 2011, 6:09 pm

@notbenjamin @KultiVator AS KultiVator says it is currently only available in the US. We got onto the Amazon UK people and they sent the following statement:

"We are launching now in the US, however we are a global business and we will continue to evaluate opportunities to do what’s in the best interest of our customers. At this time, we have not announced plans on international launches."


March 22, 2011, 7:20 pm

So will we Brits still get our gree Angry Birds when they eventually decide to launch here?

Agree the terms do seem a bit harsh but at least devs have a choice!! There's always the actual Android Market if they don't like it. And not just the Apple choice of their way or the highway.


March 22, 2011, 10:46 pm

Has anyone else been watching the Channel 4 history series "Is The West History?" In this, Niall Ferguson repeatedly makes improper and egregious use of the word "App" as a crap metaphor. I therefore hope Apple sue him for billions each time he uses the phrase "Killer App" (unless they are paying him to do so - yay a new conspiracy theory!)


March 23, 2011, 3:52 am

@MrGodfrey: "Killer app" was used a lot in the 1980s in the techie literature everytime a new platform came out to discuss whether or not users would adopt it - "The PC-AT needs a 'killer app' to showcase its capacities", "People won't migrate to OS/2 unless it gets a 'killer app'", and so on. I think it was even more common then than now. Niall Ferguson is probably just showing his age here. Going slightly off-topic, I really had to laugh when he called *medicine* a killer app. You'd think that would've flagged up just how ridiculous the metaphor was.

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