Apple has lost a legal bid to stop Amazon using the phrase 'App Store' to describe an online download store offering software for devices running Google Android.

In March this year, Apple accused the e-tailer of infringing its rights to the name and asked a US court for an injunction prohibiting Amazon from using the name, claiming it would "confuse and mislead customers", as well as unspecified damages

However, US District Court for Northern California, Judge Phyllis Hamilton, ruled it was unlikely the use of the term 'App Store' would cause confusion for consumers over which belonged to which brand.

"The court finds that Apple has not established a likelihood of success on its dilution claim," she said in an 18-page ruling.

"Apple has not established that its 'App Store' mark is famous, in the sense of being 'prominent' and 'renowned'. The evidence does show that Apple has spent a great deal of money on advertising and publicity and the evidence also reflects actual recognition of the 'App Store' mark."

Although Hamilton did say there was evidence to show "the term 'app store' is used by other companies as a descriptive term for a place to obtain software applications for mobile devices".

After Apple's legal action began, Amazon countersued the tech giant, claiming the term 'App Store' is "generic". However, Hamilton revealed in the ruling she did not agree with the statement.