Apple has laid claim to the term "App Store" with a trademark filing -- and it's using its sharp elbows to try to prevent Amazon from calling their own version by the same name.

By "sharp elbows," I mean that Apple is suing Amazon.

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Amazon's version, technically, is called "Appstore" -- one word -- whereas Apple's version is two words. But that may not be enough to protect Amazon. Then again, Apple has not yet been awarded the trademark and it's unclear if App store is worthy of trademark protection.

There may have been other "app stores" floating around the marketplace prior to Apple's introduction of it in connection with its iPhone and iPod Touch products. But it's hard to argue that Apple didn't popularize the term and now for many, it means it's a store that sells apps for computing devices.

Amazon's "Appstore" is viewed as an iTunes competitor. It's a store for applications for the Google Android mobile operating system, which is used on many phones and, increasingly, tablet computers. Amazon hopes to offer a streamlined and user-friendly experience for browsing, reviewing, downloading and paying for apps on Android devices.

If anyone could build a successful Android app store, it's definitely Amazon. They've already got millions of people using the site, with pre-loaded credit card information. And their site has good customer review tools, which is important for discovering and assessing these mobile apps.

Apple is right to use every advantage it can to beat back the competition. But I have a feeling they might lose the "app store" argument against Amazon.

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