Apple Inc. (AAPL) Loses Trademark Battle in Australia

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had several trademark wars in the recent times and the company just lost one in Australia. A federal court in Australia jettisoned the iPhone maker’s application to overturn a trademark ruling by Registrar of Trade Marks. The Australian trademark agency denied Apple the copyright to the term “app store”, according to AppleInsider. It was established that the term was so vague that it didn’t deserve copyright protection.

Losing the trademark right to “app store” is just one of the challenges for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in Australia. The company has also been asked by the court in the country to pay for the legal costs associated with the trademark dispute case. It was not immediately clear how much Apple will be required to pay after losing the trademark war.

In the trademark case ruling, Justice David Yates cited that the term “app store” does not distinguish the designated services as Apple’s. The application was rejected on that ground.
The latest “app store” defeat in Australia follows almost a similar dispute in 2011 when the company sued, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) over a copyright violation. Apple cited that Amazon breached its “App Store” trademark, but its competitors such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) sought to block protection of the term in the U.S.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) first used the “App Store” moniker in 2008, in an effort to distinguish its services from the competition. Apple usually applies for trademark protections in foreign countries to secure its marks and also keep its product pipeline secret. After it succeeds with mark protection in foreign countries, it moves to protect the same in the markets that it considers more significant, usually the U.S. and Europe.

Meanwhile, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is also being taken to task over antitrust violations, mostly committed under its founder Steve Jobs. A class-action lawsuit is seeking what could be more than $350 million in damages over violations allegedly committed by Apple with regards to iPods. Apple reportedly updated iPods such that users could not play music from the music stores of competing companies, according to The Wall Street Journal. The result is that customers ended up paying more for the iPods.