SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc <AAPL.O> has sued Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> in a bid to stop the online retailer from improperly using Apple's APP STORE trademark, according to a court filing.
The lawsuit, filed in a California federal court late last week, 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 <MSFT.O> 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.
Amazon.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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.
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.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Bernard Orr)