Deciding when to take aggressive legal action and when to take steps to avoid costly litigation in the business world can be very difficult decisions to make. There are options that must be weighed in both scenarios and business owners must take many factors into consideration before committing to a plan. How will this affect the company in the long run? How will a lawsuit affect our customers and clients? Depending on the answers to these and other important questions, business owners can make effective decisions that in the company’s best interest.
Many corporate disputes that folks in Colorado have read about are related to intellectual property, including patents and trademarks. If a company believes another company is unlawfully using an idea, service or product over which the first company has ownership, it may be appropriate to take legal action. But if that ownership is challenged by the second company, the situation can change.
Since 2011, two tech giants have been engaged in a legal battle over the use of one phrase. For two years, Apple and Amazon have been arguing over the use of the term “app store” and have each filed lawsuits against the other.
Apple has argued that they have sole ownership over the term “app store” because it launched the very successful App Store five years ago. Once Amazon adopted the term for its Amazon Appstore for Android, however, Apple filed a lawsuit claiming that Amazon was guilty of trademark infringement and false advertising by using the term. Amazon, on the other hand, argued that “app store” is a generic term and therefore cannot be protected by one company. They filed a countersuit against Apple.
Recently, however, both sides agreed to drop their lawsuits, deciding that it was not worth it to take the dispute all the way to a trial, which was set to take place in one month. Both companies are now free to use the term without penalty.
Source: Digital Trends, “‘App store’ fight ends — Apple drops trademark lawsuit against Amazon,” Trevor Mogg, July 10, 2013