How would you feel if your local bread store had to stop accepting deliveries of fresh loafs because a larger bread store across town had registered the name “bread store” as a trademark? Sounds absurd, doesn’t it?
That’s exactly the scenario that’s playing out in Germany between Apple’s “App Store” and Amazon’s “Appstore”.
Amazon has been sending out emails to its German app developers telling them why new apps aren’t being allowed through their Developer Portal:
Subject: Important Notice for Germany Based Developers
Dear Amazon Appstore Developer,
Thank you for your participation in the Amazon Appstore for Android. We wanted to notify you of a recent change to your Developer Portal account; for the time being, we are not accepting new app submissions from developers located in Germany. We have been forced to impose this restriction due to a legal action filed by Apple in Germany seeking to prevent us from using the term “appstore.” We believe Apple’s claim is without merit and are actively contesting it.
When you log into your Developer Portal account, you will notice that the options to add new apps have been removed. We hope to begin accepting new apps from German developers again soon and will notify you as soon as we are able to do so.
We appreciate your patience and your continued interest in the Amazon Appstore for Android.
Amazon Appstore Account Team
Though this restriction is only for developers based in Germany, if it sticks it will likely spread to all of Europe, which could then force Amazon to rename their store. Maybe Amazon could change it to “Mobile Apps from Amazon” and trademark “mobile apps”, then fire a salvo back at Apple when they infringe on that generic term.
Though we’re not taking sides in this battle, we think that the money both parties are spending on this international legal battle might be better spent improving their products.
Are we alone in this sentiment, or do you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!