Apple’s iTunes App Store is without a doubt the largest mobile app marketplace around, with hundreds of thousands of applications available for purchase and download for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Apple also happens to have a trademark on the phrase “App Store,” so the company hasn’t been too happy with Amazon’s use of “Appstore” to describe the company’s developer program and upcoming portal for selling Google Android applications. In fact, Bloomberg reports that Apple has filed a lawsuit against Amazon for trademark infringement.
Now, you could argue that Amazon is using Apple’s language to attract developers to its program, but I think you’d have a hard time convincing anyone that there’s any real confusion here. Amazon’s Appstore if for Android apps, not iOS apps and that means you won’t be able to download any items from Amazon that run on your iPhone, nor any iTunes App Store apps that run on your Motorola Droid.
There’s probably a much larger issue here about whether companies should be able to trademark broad descriptive phrases such as App Store, or 1-click checkouts. But for now it should just be interesting to see how the lawsuit affects Amazon’s plans to launch its mobile app portal. Word on the street is that it was set to open to the public as soon as tomorrow.