Apple Legal Rampage; Threatens GetJar over "App Store"; Files 2nd Infringement vs HTC

Discussion in 'Android Tablet News' started by dgstorm, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member

    Jan 5, 2011
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    If you were a lawyer working for Apple right now, you would probably both love and hate them; Love them, because of all the money you are making from them, and hate them because of all the endless work they are making you do. You can add two new targets to the legal onslaught coming from the rampaging fruit. Apple has just threatened a lawsuit against GetJar, a 3rd party app store, for using "app store", just like they did with Amazon, telling them to "stop using 'Apps Store'". Luckily, the "little company that could" will not bow to Apple's demands and flatly said, "No." GetJar have decided to stand up to what they call Apple's "bullying". It's almost surprising that Apple is pursuing these legal actions over the term "App Store", because their trademark of it is still being contested by Microsoft in a USPTO case that is still unsettled at this time. And, of course, they are still fighting it out in court with Amazon for the same issue, and even had a legal setback in the case recently.

    Regardless, it appears that the fruit will do what the fruit does, and they aren't stopping there with their legal shenanigans. Apparently, Apple has also filed a 2nd ITC patent infringement complaint against HTC over (publicly) unspecified devices, and seeks to block the import of "personal electronic devices" by HTC. There is no comment from HTC regarding this yet, and, although their previous case with Apple regarding similar issues hasn't been decided yet, it should be finished by August 5th. Perhaps we will know something more then. This is almost precisely what they are doing with Samsung too.

    I am not one to become a fan-boy, or anti-fan-boy, of one company over another. I tend to follow the technology that impresses me the most, even if it comes from a competitor. I admit, that there are several devices from Apple that are very impressive, but when it comes to stuff like this, it really makes me scratch my head. I am all for a company protecting their intellectual property rights, but from the beginning of this, the idea that Apple could trademark something as generic as "app store" just seemed... unjust. When does Apple need to take a step back and reevaluate how their behavior makes them look in the public eye? At what point does "protecting your IP" become "abusing the legal system for strategic market advantage"? Right now, it just seems like Apple is picking on everybody and everything "just because they can." Apple's PR people should rein in the legal department before they irreparably damage the company's reputation, if they haven't already.

    As consumers we really shouldn't desire to see Apple fail in any way. Even if we choose to purchase competing products to Apple, the fact that they are innovative helps push their competitors to make better products. This "cycle" benefits consumers in the long run by continuously evolving the technology, and keeping prices down. Our Androids are better and cheaper because Apple exists. Although I doubt that this negative legal "junk" will actually impact Apple in a big way in the long run, consumers are a fickle bunch, and you just never know what could really destroy a company. It wasn't that long ago that Apple was almost bankrupt. It would not be a good thing to see that again. Share your thoughts.

    You can see GetJar's Blog on the subject, here.

    Source: Engadget and AndroidPolice
  2. Sprank1

    Sprank1 Senior Member

    Mar 12, 2011
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    This is really getting old. Apple is acting like the bully in the schoolyard, threatening to beat everyone up to keep their status as the "king of the schoolyard". Just makes me even less likely to buy any product that they may make.
  3. OffWorld

    OffWorld Senior Member

    Oct 5, 2010
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    Minnesota, USA
    Tablet / Device:
    Haipad M701-R, Augen Gentouch 78 (returned it)
    Well, as was reported over at cnet, Apple lost their injunction against Amazon over using the "App Store" name. It doesn't mean the case is decided yet, but it does hint that the court is leaning toward the notion that "app store" is a generic descriptive term, not a defendable trade mark (furthermore that Amazon spells it "Appstore" and Apple spells it "App Store").

    I'm getting pretty sick of every tech news site I look at running story after story about all these IP lawsuits flying back and forth too. But we have a legal system that requires companies to aggressively defend their intellectual property or surrender exclusive claims to it - in other words they HAVE to sue possible infringers. The only reason a lot of companies don't is they either are unaware of the potential infringements or they don't have the money to pursue legal defenses of their properties. Apple, of course, certainly has money to burn on legal fees right now so they're going after everyone they can. Winning such cases means either eliminating competitors or at least not allowing them to capitalize on Apple's properties, or could lead to a settlement which will pay for the legal action, or better yet a licensing agreement that secures an ongoing revenue stream.

    The bigger problem, in my opinion, is that the USPTO has a sorry track record of granting overly-broad patents, trademarks, and copyrights that allow companies to make what would otherwise be laughable claims of infringement. Our Intellectual Property laws seriously need a major overhaul, but unfortunately it is corporate interests like Apple who will have the most sway in how they would be revised - and you can bet it would favor major corporate interests over startups.

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