Rick is an experienced Nashville intellectual-property litigator and an erstwhile part-time professor at Vanderbilt University Law School whose writing and teaching focuses on copyright issues but whose law practice involves a wide variety of IP-related disputes.
Or, What Amazon’s Generic-ness Argument Can Teach Us About the Nature of a Trademark
I’ve had a few questions about what is perhaps the most controversial part of the Apple v. Amazon decision: the court’s conclusion that APP STORE is not generic. The court provided no real explanation for her conclusion, other than to reference her description of Apple’s arguments on the subject. That description, however, doesn’t explain very much, only that there is “ample evidence that APP STORE is not “primarily understood to mean the genus of services” (which explains nothing), that Apple’s competitors have found other ways to describe this genus of services (maybe because they don’t want to draw a lawsuit from Apple rather than anything to do with the merit’s of Apple’s position), and that you can’t find app store in a dictionary (which doesn’t prove much).
While it’s nice for judges to explain their conclusions, they don’t have to. All they need to set forth in their opinions is (1) the relevant facts, and (2) the necessary legal conclusions they draw from those facts after applying the relevant law (known in the business as a holding). It’s up to us to figure out how the judge…Read More»