Amazon Web Services launches appeal after losing $12m AWS trademark war in China to local biz Actionsoft

American goliath vows to overturn ruling at Middle Kingdom's Supreme People’s Court

Amazon hopes to overturn a ruling in China that not only banned it from using its AWS acronym and logo in the Middle Kingdom but also ordered the US giant to pay Chinese cloud outfit ActionSoft $12m for trademark infringement.

“Amazon Web Services invented cloud services and made it popular around the world under the AWS name long before any other company developed a competing service,” an AWS spokesperson told The Register on Tuesday.

“Amazon was the first to use the AWS logo in China to sell cloud services by many years. We strongly disagree with the court’s ruling and have appealed the case to the [China’s] Supreme People’s Court.”

Dr Werner Vogels expounding the benefits of observability at an ancient food processing factory.

AWS catches up to Azure and GCP with CloudShell, adds deliberate injection of chaos


The appeal comes after the Beijing Municipal High People’s Court decided in May that ActionSoft, not Amazon Web Services, officially owns the term "AWS." Amazon was also ordered to hand over 76.5 million yuan ($11.8m, £8.7m) to ActionSoft as compensation for using the letters in its product marketing. The ruling was not published, however, until the end of December, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

ActionSoft and Amazon have been embroiled in a trademark battle for years in China. Both companies have filed numerous applications to register variations of AWS. For example, Amazon applied for a logo picturing five cubes next to AWS written in lowercase in 2016, and its AWS smile logo in 2017, according to China’s Trademark Office. ActionSoft, however, trademarked the letters AWS in plain writing in 2004.

The dispute over the use of AWS eventually culminated in a lawsuit when ActionSoft sued Amazon for trademark infringement and asked for $46m in compensation in 2018. Amazon argued that it had been using the AWS name and logo for its cloud computing arm since 2002.

The Chinese courts, however, ruled in favor of ActionSoft, and now Amazon has appealed the decision to China’s Supreme People’s Court.

A quick glance at Amazon’s AWS site in China still shows the org using its smile logo. “‘AWS’ is an abbreviation of ‘Amazon Web Services”’ and is not displayed herein as a trademark,” it notes at the bottom of its Middle Kingdom website. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Meet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware
    Russia-linked crime-as-a-service crew is rich, professional – and investing in R&D

    Analysis Wizard Spider, the Russia-linked crew behind high-profile malware Conti, Ryuk and Trickbot, has grown over the past five years into a multimillion-dollar organization that has built a corporate-like operating model, a year-long study has found.

    In a technical report this week, the folks at Prodaft, which has been tracking the cybercrime gang since 2021, outlined its own findings on Wizard Spider, supplemented by info that leaked about the Conti operation in February after the crooks publicly sided with Russia during the illegal invasion of Ukraine.

    What Prodaft found was a gang sitting on assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars funneled from multiple sophisticated malware variants. Wizard Spider, we're told, runs as a business with a complex network of subgroups and teams that target specific types of software, and has associations with other well-known miscreants, including those behind REvil and Qbot (also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot).

    Continue reading
  • Supreme Court urged to halt 'unconstitutional' Texas content-no-moderation law
    Everyone's entitled to a viewpoint but what's your viewpoint on what exactly is and isn't a viewpoint?

    A coalition of advocacy groups on Tuesday asked the US Supreme Court to block Texas' social media law HB 20 after the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week lifted a preliminary injunction that had kept it from taking effect.

    The Lone Star State law, which forbids large social media platforms from moderating content that's "lawful-but-awful," as advocacy group the Center for Democracy and Technology puts it, was approved last September by Governor Greg Abbott (R). It was immediately challenged in court and the judge hearing the case imposed a preliminary injunction, preventing the legislation from being enforced, on the basis that the trade groups opposing it – NetChoice and CCIA – were likely to prevail.

    But that injunction was lifted on appeal. That case continues to be litigated, but thanks to the Fifth Circuit, HB 20 can be enforced even as its constitutionality remains in dispute, hence the coalition's application [PDF] this month to the Supreme Court.

    Continue reading
  • How these crooks backdoor online shops and siphon victims' credit card info
    FBI and co blow lid off latest PHP tampering scam

    The FBI and its friends have warned businesses of crooks scraping people's credit-card details from tampered payment pages on compromised websites.

    It's an age-old problem: someone breaks into your online store and alters the code so that as your customers enter their info, copies of their data is siphoned to fraudsters to exploit. The Feds this week have detailed one such effort that reared its head lately.

    As early as September 2020, we're told, miscreants compromised at least one American company's vulnerable website from three IP addresses: 80[.]249.207.19, 80[.]82.64.211 and 80[.]249.206.197. The intruders modified the web script TempOrders.php in an attempt to inject malicious code into the checkout.php page.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022