The lawsuit, filed in a California federal court on March 18, 2011, said Amazon has improperly used Apple's APP STORE mark to solicit software developers throughout the United States.
Apple has applied to register the APP STORE trademark in the United States, a bid which Microsoft opposes. The matter is currently before a trademark trial and appeals board, according to the lawsuit.
"We've asked Amazon not to copy the APP STORE name because it will confuse and mislead customers," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said on Monday.
According to the lawsuit, Amazon is unlawfully using the APP STORE trademark in connection with what Amazon calls the "Amazon Appstore Developer Portal," along with other instances like ads for a version of Angry Birds, the popular mobile game. They listed the ad in their suit.
Angry Birds Rio was featured prominently in the launch of Amazon's Android App Store, which came online March 22, despite the lawsuit.
Apple has also asserted a claim of unfair competition, and is seeking to enjoin Amazon from using the APP STORE mark.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Apple Inc v. Amazon.com Inc, 11-1327.
Update: Apple expand trademark to Europe.
By Carl W. Brooks