Yet Another Tech IP Suit: Apple Sues Amazon Over App Store Name


Tech companies have gotten into the habit of suing one another over intellectual property. On Friday, Apple (AAPL) sued Amazon (AMZN) over the term "App Store." At about the same time, Microsoft (MSFT) sued Barnes & Noble (BKS) for patent infringement in its Android-based Nook e-reader.

Apple says it holds the trademark to the "App Store" name. That may be decided in court. The suit was filed in the federal court for the Northern District of California. The complaint stated that people might think the Amazon Appstore is owned by or associated with Apple.

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What tech companies cannot settle among themselves has more frequently ended up in the legal system. The current generation of suits began when Nokia (NOK) sued Qualcomm (QCOM) over patents and royalties in 2007. That suit was eventually settled. More recently, Eastman Kodak (EK) unsuccessfully sued Apple and Research In Motion (RIMM) over digital camera applications. Apple sued handset company HTC in 2010 over patents it claimed it had as part of its iPhone development.

Congress has attempted to pass a new Patent Reform Act, which would update patent procedures that go back to 1952. The old regulations are not suited to modern software and IP filings. The legislation remains stuck as interests on all sides lobby for a law that would protect some companies' intellectual property but not others.

Unfortunately, the consumer may be the ultimate loser in these IP wars.

Also See:Steve Jobs Ordered to Testify in iTunes Antitrust Case

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