It’s coming up on two years since the first legal volley was launched in the battle between Apple and Amazon over the latter’s use of the word “Appstore” for its Android app marketplace. Apple did not waste any time getting the case off the ground, filing suit before we even saw the Appstore launch. Since March of 2011, the case has been taking its sweet time in even getting to arguments. Recently, Amazon scored a small victory with the court recognizing that it didn’t engage in false advertising through its promotion off the Appstore. Now, before a full trial even begins, the judge overseeing the proceedings is doing her darnedest to get Apple and Amazon to work out this spat amicably, ordering the two sides to talk settlement.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte says that Apple and Amazon need to get their decision-makers together in a room and make a real effort towards resolving this conflict before she’s willing to hear arguments. From the sounds of things, she really means business, ordering that “no participant in the settlement conference will be permitted to leave the settlement conference before it is concluded.”
Neither side is going to want to budge on this, but if push comes to shove, what kind of resolution might be possible? Apple’s going to want Amazon to at least change something, but we can’t imaging Amazon would be too keen on a complete re-branding. Maybe something like the “Amazon Android App Store” might be something Apple could live with, driving home the point that this is fully separate from Apple and any iOS offerings.
Both sides should meet on March 21, so there’s a chance we might just see things wrapped-up before this lawsuit gets into its third year.