Apple Sends C&D to MiKandi Over ‘App Store’ Usage

CYBERSPACE—Apple has decided that the world cannot tolerate another App Store, especially if the other online entity sells porn apps! That would be MiKandi, the Android-focused app … er, store … that Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously referenced twice last year, first in early April during a live iPhone OS 4.0 event and then later the same month during a late-night email exchange with a consumer complaining about a recent Apple App Store rejection.

Now, Apple’s lawyers are entering the fray, having sent MiKandi a cease-and-desist notice warning them to stop using the words ‘app store’ to describe their app store, or else. The targeting of MiKandi is interesting and a little odd, however, considering the fact that Apple is embroiled in a battle with Microsoft over the very same issue. The software giant has filed a motion with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office challenging Apple’s application for an App Store mark.

Actually, it's not just about the porn. Apple has already shown that it is not going to wait around for a decision by the USPTO to protect the exclusivity of its App Store mark. Earlier this month, Apple also sued Amazon over its use of “Amazon Appstore for Android.” The Cupertino, California-based company apparently believes that a mass frontal attack is an effective maneuver in these situations.

MiKandi, of course, is a teeny flea compared with Apple, Amazon or MiKandi, a mere blemish on a shiny apple, but apparently not so small that it doesn’t get under their skin. This latest “issue” with Apple is but the latest in a series of highly publicized comments or actions by Apple that have brought MiKandi attention that would have cost them a fortune to create on their own.

Co-founders Jesse Adams and Jen McEwen are on a trip in China, but McEwen replied to an email query late Wednesday, saying the C&D has brought yet more welcome attention.

"Yes, it's true," she said. "Last week, Apple hit MiKandi with a cease and desist regarding our use of the term 'app store.' We feel that this term is too generic to be trademarked. However it's not worth our trouble, nor are our pockets deep enough to go head to head with Apple. We'll let the giants (Microsoft, Amazon, Apple) hash this one out. Every time Apple shows us some attention we break our records. Yesterday, when the news broke that Apple sent MiKandi a C&D, we experienced our highest amount of transactions to date."

They also did an interview with GeekWire earlier this week, and spoke about the current App Store situation, and talked more broadly about how the publicity has impacted them, porn in app stores, Amazon’s entry into the Android app marketplace, and what the future has in store for MiKandi.

Andrews told the site, “It’s not worth it for us to fight Apple’s legal team over this by ourselves. Maybe we can file an amicus brief to Microsoft’s case.”

On a more positive note, McEwen said, of an imminent MiKandi initiative, “We’re going to be launching our in-app billing API in the coming weeks. We’re in beta-testing right now.”

Smart folks the MiKandi gang. They also make hot music videos.