Judge rejects Apple bid for injunction against Amazon

SAN FRANCISCO Wed Jul 6, 2011 8:30pm EDT

A young customer looks at Apple's iPad 2 at Zurich's Apple store after its official launch for direct purchase in Switzerland March 25, 2011. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

A young customer looks at Apple's iPad 2 at Zurich's Apple store after its official launch for direct purchase in Switzerland March 25, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge denied Apple Inc's attempt to quickly stop online retailer Amazon.com Inc from using the "App Store" name, according to a court document.

Apple, the maker of best-selling iPhones and iPad tablets, filed a trademark lawsuit saying that Amazon has improperly used Apple's App Store name to solicit software developers throughout the United States.

Apple also asked a federal judge in Oakland, Calif. for a preliminary injunction to stop Amazon from using the name, which Apple says is trademark protected. However, Amazon argued that the term is generic and therefore not protectable.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton did not agree that the term is purely generic, according to an order released on Wednesday. However Apple has not established "a likelihood of confusion" with Amazon's services to get an injunction, Hamilton wrote.

On Wednesday Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet referred to the company's prior statements, which said Apple asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will "confuse and mislead customers."

An Amazon representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

In an earlier ruling on Wednesday, Hamilton set a trial date for October 2012.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Amazon.com Inc, 11-1327.

(Reporting by Dan Levine; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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