This make me a sad little facepalming unicorn. Apple has just slapped the open source home server project Amahi with a cease and desist letter about the project’s use of the term ‘app store’ – stop using the term, or face Cupertino’s army of lawyers. Note: Please help me find out what ‘Mac App’ is, a supposed Apple product from 1985 – the first citation of the term ‘app’ in the Oxford English Dictionary. Another note: Okay I should’ve guessed that publications from that time could still correct company’s horrid camel case spelling without unleashing the wrath of fanboys – it’s MacApp, not Mac App. GraÃ§ias, guys!
Amahi is an open source home server software package, which, among other things, has its own application store where you can download applications to extend the software package’s functionality. This application store is labelled ‘app store’, and this irks Apple – which is currently in a legal battle over the rights to this term with Microsoft and Amazon, and as such, must show that it will defend its trademark.
“Amahi’s use of the title ‘App Store’ improperly incorporates Apple’s APP STORE mark in its entirety, and as such is likely to cause confuse consumers into thinking that Amahi is offering Apple’s APP STORE service to its customers, or is otherwise authorized by or associated with Apple, when of course it is not,” Apple’s lawyers claim.
“Why Amahi? Why pick on such a small target when there are so many people using the app store term? Amahi is a Open Source startup, and is not even in the mobile space. We may never know,” the Amahi team writes, “We’re still trying to determine what is the best course of action, however, this looks like a rather heavy handed move. Amahi being literally nothing next to Apple (sigh) we do not have the resources to fight this battle.”
As such, the team has decided to organise a naming contest for the Amahi application store. My personal favourite so far? Appl store. You know, appl, short for application. It’s sad that they have to go through this, but I fully understand them in not being willing to take on Apple in court.