Judge orders Apple, Amazon to talk 'app store' infringement settlement


A judge has ordered Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to hold settlement talks in an attempt to resolve their battle over the term "app store" before the case goes to trial this August.

In a court filing issued Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Laporte in San Francisco instructed Apple and Amazon, their lead attorneys and executives with full authority to negotiate and settle the case to meet on March 21. "No participant in the settlement conference will be permitted to leave the settlement conference before it is concluded," Laporte wrote in her order. Neither Apple nor Amazon responded to requests for comment.

In 2011, Apple filed suit against Amazon in an effort to block the online retail giant from using "app store" in relation to its Android application storefront. Apple argues that the Amazon Appstore for Android could mislead users looking for Apple's own App Store for iOS.

Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled Amazon is not falsely advertising Appstore for Android, stating "Apple has presented no evidence that consumers or customers understand 'app store' to include specific qualities or characteristics or attributes of the Apple App Store, or that any customers were misled by Amazon's use of the term." Apple still has five additional claims pending, including trademark infringement and unfair competition.

Apple introduced the App Store in 2008 and now touts more than 775,000 applications optimized for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, including 300,000 native iPad apps. Last week, Apple announced consumers have now downloaded more than 40 billion apps from the store, including 20 billion in 2012 alone, generating iOS developer revenues in excess of $7 billion.

Amazon Appstore for Android went live in early 2011, launching in the U.S. and subsequently expanding to international markets including Europe and Japan. The storefront--which promises a user experience rooted in the company's e-commerce and marketing expertise--consistently generates substantially greater revenues per user than the rival Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play storefront, according to data published last year by app store analytics firm Flurry.

For more:
- read this Bloomberg article
- read this All Things D article

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