A UNITED STATES JUDGE ruled on Wednesday that Apple cannot sue Amazon for false advertising for using the term "Appstore".
Apple alleged that Amazon is attempting to trick consumers into thinking its App Store for Android is in some way affiliated with the Apple App Store. US District Court Judge Phyllis Hamilton found that Apple did not prove that the term "App Store" relates only to Apple.
"Apple has failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement, express or implied, of fact that actually deceived or had the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of its audience," wrote Judge Hamilton in her ruling on partial summary judgment in the case.
"The mere use of 'Appstore' by Amazon to designate a site for viewing and downloading/purchasing apps cannot be construed as a representation that the nature, characteristics, or quality of the Amazon Appstore is the same as that of the Apple App Store."
Apple began its lawsuit against Amazon over the use of the term "App Store" in March of 2011. The Iphone maker had hoped that its suit would force Amazon to drop the name from its mobile applications marketplace.
Amazon asked the judge to drop the false advertising part of the case last year. The online retailer said it believed that the term "App Store" was a generic term used in the mobile app market.
Apple claimed that the use of the term "App Store" by Amazon gave a false implication that it was in some way related to Apple. The firm used prior false advertising cases in attempting to justify its position.
Judge Hamilton agreed with Amazon on the basis that Apple did not prove that the term "App Store" was associated with only Apple.
The ruling will not end the case completely. Amazon will still have to face Apple in court for trial on the use of the "App Store" trademark. However, Judge Hamilton has made previous statements in the case that could mean a full victory for Amazon in the coming months. µ