Apple Goes After Open Source Startup For Daring To Use The Term 'App Store'

from the butt-head-astronomer-store dept

Those of you up on your Apple history may know that the company once had a sense of humor. It once had a project that went by the code name “Sagan,” and when astronomer Carl Sagan got angry and sent a cease-and-desist, Apple changed the project name to “Butt-Head Astronomer” or “BHA” (eventually leading to a defamation lawsuit that failed). So with Apple now being the insane company sending out cease-and-desist letters over something they shouldn’t care about, perhaps it’s time to help people rename the “app store.”

As you probably have heard, Apple is trying to convince the world that “app store” is not generic and that it holds the trademark on it. This has resulted in lots of people trying to invalidate the trademark, and one lawsuit against Amazon. Rather than taking a step back, Apple has become much more aggressive, lately (even though Steve Jobs has been caught calling other app stores “app stores”).

We recently noted that it had threatened the developer organization Wireless Industry Partnership for daring to have a webpage that lists out alternative app stores. Carl J points us to the news that the company is now also threatening the open source startup Amahi with a similar cease-and-desist, for the app store it has for its home web server offering.

While the company is still deciding what to do, it’s asking people to suggest potential alternatives:


We?d like it if you submit your suggestion for a term to use for Amahi?s store area, in every language on the surface of the earth, except of course using the term ?app store.? Keep them short! We will use one of the top suggestions to name that area of our site.

Anyone have suggestions that would fit with the spirit of Apple’s response to Carl Sagan?

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Companies: amahi, apple

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Comments on “Apple Goes After Open Source Startup For Daring To Use The Term 'App Store'”

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103 Comments
Chargonesays:

Re: Re:

-1c store (and then always sell anything found both there and on the apple store for one cent less than on the apple store?)

ok, not quite the same spirit.

heh. i know!

ple store. (because clearly, app is short of apple.)
pear store.
app crate.
app shop
app werehouse
app tree
orchid (again, if apple insists that ‘app’ is short for ‘apple’ rather than ‘application’, why not?)

Anonymoussays:

TRAFC – That Rotten “A” Fruit Company
APIP Store – Apples Pathetic IP (Of course, having Apple as part of the abriv. probably wouldn’t work)

Those are the only two that even remotely fit that I can come up with. For apple there is of course, SUSJ, or “Shut up Steve Jobs”, but that’s only if they lose on the App trademark due to his general use of app.

Nicedoggysays:

App using Google translation:

Apuri = app in Japanese
tsragiry = app in Armenian
prykladannie = app in Belarusian
aplicaci? = in Catalan
Y?ngy?ng ch?ngx? = in Chinese
Bŏksa = in Indi
aplikasi = in Indonesian
Aplikēśan = in Kannada
eung-yong peulogeulaem = in Korean
stan = in Macedonian
aplikacji = in Polish
prilozhenie = in Russian
Апп = in Serbian
aplicaci?n = in Spanish
Payaṉpāṭu = in Tamil
Anuvartanaṁ = in Telugo
dodatok = in Ukranian

Other words:

Application
Software
widget
Program

My suggestion:

Ape Store
iApe Store
Ape iStore
App iCounter
App iDepo
Apple Corner
App iCorner
App iBarn
Appland
iAppland
Apoo Store
Appoo iStore

danielsays:

Apple has the "app store" --- get over it.

Maybe it’s just that I have a better memory than most other people… or maybe it’s just because no other company had the insight to use “app store” first.

Microsoft, back when it had an online store for it’s failed smart-type phone, had a little thing called “Catalog”… for it’s Sidekick device. It was an online store, but choose a more techie name. And yes, Catalog was wildly used around the world. And, who complained?

Now that Apple has the “app store” name – those wishing they had it are now throwing hissy-fits. Stop being whinny snot-nosed-kids and move on. Geesh!

Not an electronic Rodentsays:

Re: Re: Apple has the "app store" --- get over it.

Now that Apple has the “app store” name

Sorry, really can’t bring myself to give a monkeys about who used the term first commercially. “App” has been the abbreviation for “Application” ever since there have been computer applications. Cf. “Applet” meaning a small application.
A “cool” catchphrase doesn’t mean you get to own a standard term. Especially when the “Sue-er In Chief” himself used the term in exactly that context.

Oh.. and:

Maybe it’s just that I have a better memory than most other people… or maybe it’s just because no other company had the insight to use “app store” first.

Being the first to package crap-ware in one place also does not mean you get to own a standard term.

And yes, Catalog was wildly used around the world. And, who complained?

That might stand up as an argument if you can show the many companies perhaps such as Universal, Sears, ScrewFix, RS Online, Victoria Secret etc. that Microsoft sued for use of the term catalog.

danielsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Apple has the "app store" --- get over it.

— “App” has been the abbreviation for “Application” ever since there have been computer applications. —
Sure, I agree. And “Windows” has been the name for the little windows you look at on your computer ever since the Graphical User Interface was released (well before Windows 1). And yet, Microsoft has that trademarked and yes, has sued many many companies out of existence.

— “Being the first to package crap-ware in one place also does not mean you get to own a standard term.” —
Actually, you switched to off topic. Focus please. It’s not your opinion of the software (don’t be jealous) that matters here. It’s who owns the name. And yes, first one to raise their hand gets the name.

— And yes, Catalog was wildly used around the world. And, who complained? —
I don’t think anyone knew – the failure was so complete.

— That might stand up as an argument if you can show the many companies perhaps such as Universal, Sears, ScrewFix, RS Online, Victoria Secret etc. that Microsoft sued for use of the term catalog. —
Yet, Microsoft was able to Trademark that common name as well.

Anyway, thank you for your comments. Good discussion keeps the world revolving.

Not an Electronic Rodentsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Apple has the "app store" --- get over it.

Actually, you switched to off topic. Focus please. It’s not your opinion of the software (don’t be jealous) that matters here. It’s who owns the name. And yes, first one to raise their hand gets the name.

Would you prefer if i said; “With a business primarily focused on consumer-oriented computing-type products, often with as much if not more ‘fashion value’ as substance, it is natural that Apple would be the first to actually succeed with marketing such an application repository and shopfront. It’s primary value for Apple and others is in enabling them to capitalise on high-volume, low-value products in an efficient manner, which is wholly in keeping with their perceived business model, and the store itself is heavy on the “cool but pointless” products that succeed best in that space. However, being the first to succeed with something that, as you point out, others had already done before does not in my mind have anything to do with attempting to hijack an obvious and generic term for the function of the system to be a proper and exclusive name for anything. Hardly an “insight” I feel, more a lazy day for a marketing exec.”

It was shorter the first time though.

Yet, Microsoft was able to Trademark that common name as well.

Which, to my mind, points at something very broken in the trademark system rather than something good that one should just “get over”.

Jose_Xsays:

Use them all.. perhaps under different contexts

Appllery: (app gallery .. and maybe as well apple gallery)
Applery: (where the theme/motif more clearly is apples)

Maybe use the first and then mock Apple if they ever adopt the second.

App Core: (Apple will love this one as will anyone seriously into apps)

1984 Red Face: (besides the multiple Apple mocks, it might even hint at facebook like features).

Fruit That Is Doomed: (fruit of a loom semblance but related to apple as forbidden fruit and doomed company.. mostly for fun, perhaps as parody)

Wingfatsays:

Really? give it up Apple

there is WAY WAY too many compaines using the term App Store.. for example if you have Dish Net work there is an App Store on your TV to get Apps to load onscreen, say for Weather or Sports, or live video feeds. Amazon uses it, tons of others. App means Application.. Store means a place you can buy things.. an App Store should be where you can buy apps no matter what platform you are using. Next Apple is going to sue Washington Apples for useing the word Apple.

AWsays:

Very sad

Seriously this couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. No sarcasm, the guy truly is an awesome guy who doesn’t deserve this. Back when I was using Amahi the guy personally looked into my setup remotely to get it working for me and spends hours helping users. I was really disheartened to hear about this and wish him nothing but the best.

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