For a company, just selling the product isn’t enough. Designing the product isn’t enough. It’s a combination of the two, and then the way that the product is marketed, that ultimately determines whether or not it will fail or succeed in the market. A lot of these companies spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on determining which products will make it in a particular market before they launch. And, many companies work endlessly to try and make their product synonymous with the way people use it. And that’s really the goal: to make it so that when someone thinks of something, your company’s name comes up as the primary source of that product. For Apple, brand is just as important as the product, and the Cupertino-based company has worked seemingly tirelessly on making sure that when someone thinks of a certain product, their name comes up. And it looks like the company is fighting a battle to make sure that doesn’t change any time soon.
This article started coming into fruition after Amazon’s official response to Apple’s suit against the digital retailer’s usage of “Appstore.” And, while it was initially going to be just about that suit, it’s developed into something a bit broader. Because the truth is, it looks like Apple is going to war against its competitors, no matter who it is, all in hopes of keeping their brand name on a pedestal. This isn’t just apparent in Apple’s suit against Amazon, but it’s directly related to the lawsuit that Apple is pushing against Samsung as well.
Last week, we heard that Apple had moved forward with suing Samsung, due to the belief that the latter company’s products are too similar to Apple’s devices. And while Samsung is ready to take the fight to the courts on their own suits, many believe that Apple’s motives are just. On the other side of the coin, there seem to be just as many people who believe Apple is just wasting their time, and that this lawsuit is pointless. Some would say that there are certainly Samsung-branded devices out there that are similar in aesthetics to the devices that Apple has shipped over the last few years, and there are others who do not see the resemblance at all. Obviously Apple believes that this is a problem, and is moving ahead with trying to fix the situation.
This week, we’ve got Amazon issuing a response to Apple’s lawsuit issued last month. In it, Amazon suggests that “app store” is too generalized to be trademarked, and that Apple’s efforts in doing so are empty. Amazon’s position in this argument is sound, as “app store” is certainly a general term that many would be willing to use in any sentence talking about any one of the digital markets where applications are available for downloading. But, it’s not that simple. For Apple, the “app store” is synonymous with their App Store, and that’s how they want to keep it. When you think App Store, Apple wants you to think iOS and the iPhone, or even the iPod Touch and iPad. They’ve worked since the launch of the digital storefront to make sure that that’s what people think, and they don’t want to lose that foothold.
There’s no arguing that Amazon is right when they say that “app store” could be seen as a general term, and people may use it as such. But, Apple’s position on the matter and the fact that they’re trying to keep their brand, their logo and their name tied together with that term seems just as right. Apple is not just trying to trademark a term or name to be ridiculous. They’re fighting for a name that many, and especially Apple, believe is synonymous with a way of procuring applications. And, simply put, Apple is doing the same thing with their lawsuit against Samsung, but with the focus on the hardware in that case.
But, we’ll see what happens. In both cases, it really could go either way. So how do you feel about this? Are Apple’s actions just, or is the company just trying to make waves for no reason? Do you think Apple should fight this hard to save their brand? Let me know in the comments below.