Apple Serves GetJar with “App Store” C&D

The Scales of JusticeApple has served free mobile software download service GetJar with a Cease & Desist letter demanding the company remove the term “app store” from its site. Apple alleges that the use of the term infringes on its “App Store” trademark, making this a continuation of the company’s battle to keep competitors from using the term for their own services.

GetJar offers apps for Android and BlackBerry devices, as well as Java apps and apps for Nokia’s soon-to-be-defunct Symbian OS. Users can also find Web apps, some of which will work on Apple’s iOS devices.

The company claims some 1,969,259,455 downloads to date, with more than 160,000 total apps and 332,472 registered developers. Between all the operating systems represented, the site said it supports some 2,567 devices.

In the C&D, Apple claimed that its “App Store” mark is the, “result of the hundreds of thousands of programs offered on Apple’s App Store service, the millions of users that have accessed the service, and the billions of downloads” they have downloaded.

As such, the company argued, the App Store mark has “become one of the most famous marks in the field of online computer software and information services.”

For its part, GetJar noted in a statement provided to Mashable that, “GetJar has been in the business of offering apps to consumers since 2005, well before Apple, and helped to pioneer the model that the general public understands as an app store today. We have built a strong, global and growing business around this model, and plan to continue to use the phrase ‘app store’ to describe what we do.”

GetJar CEO Lija Laurs added, “This move by Apple is yet more proof that the company tends to act as if it is above the law, and even as one of the smaller players in the space, we won’t be bullied by Apple.”

Apple has been aggressive in trying to assert its trademark for “App Store,” and the company is currently in the midst of a battle with Amazon over its Amazon Appstore for Android that could well decide whether or not Apple’s trademark is enforceable or not. The judge presiding over the case said on Thursday that Apple is not likely to prevail in its case.