Key part of Apple's 'app store' lawsuit against Amazon rejected

A California court has granted Amazon's request to dismiss Apple's false advertising claim in an ongoing lawsuit regarding the companies' joint use of the "app store" name.

Amazon argued that Apple did not identify a single false statement that Amazon has made about its app store – a necessity to prove false advertising - and the judge agreed.

"Apple has presented no evidence of any Amazon website or advertisement that attempts to mimic Apple's site or advertising," Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton wrote in her decision.

Amazon first asked the judge to dismiss the claim back in September. The online retail giant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"For purposes of this motion, the only dispute is with regard to the first element of the false advertising claim – that is, whether Amazon made a false statement of fact in a commercial advertisement about its own or another's product," Judge Hamilton said.

"Apple has failed to establish that Amazon made any false statement (express or implied) of fact that actually deceived or had the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of its audience," she continued.

She concluded: "The mere use of 'Appstore' by Amazon to designate a site for viewing and downloading/purchasing apps cannot be construed as a representation that the nature, characteristics, or quality of the Amazon Appstore is the same as that of the Apple App Store."

Apple filed its original complaint against Amazon in March 2011, alleging that the "Amazon Appstore for Android" name violated Apple's "App Store" trademark. In 2008, the Cupertino-based firm filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office to register the "App Store" mark, but the request never went through, since the PTO allowed those who objected to speak their mind, kicking off a legal battle between Microsoft and Apple, and eventually, Amazon.

The larger "app store" case against Amazon is still ongoing.