Judge: Apple May Face Hurdles in Amazon Appstore Dispute

Apple vs. AmazonDistrict Judge Phyllis Hamilton told Apple Wednesday the company may face hurdles in its trademark infringement lawsuit against Amazon. According to Reuters, the judge told Apple that it had a “stumbling block” when it comes to proving that anyone would confuse Apple’s App Store with the Amazon Appstore for Android.

Apple was granted a trademark in the U.S. for the name “App Store,” and used that trademark to sue Amazon when the online retailer launched the Amazon Appstore for Android. Amazon uses its “Appstore” to sell apps for Android devices, and the company has already argued in court filings that the term “app store” is generic and should not be subject to trademark protection.

For its part, Apple said when it launched the lawsuit that it had asked Amazon nicely not to use “app store” in its online store, but filed a lawsuit when those requests received fell on deaf corporate ears. “We’ve asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers,” an Apple spokesperson said at the time.

The comments from the judge do not represent a final ruling from the judge, but such comments are often seen as an indication of where a judge is leaning during the course of arguing a case.