Apple has asked GetJar to stop using the word app store to refer to its marketplace for mobile applications. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

The company has told GetJar, an independent site for free mobile applications, that it has to stop using the term “app store” on its Web site and elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Apple registered the term “App Store” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2008; it filed a suit against Amazon when the online retailer launched its Android Appstore in March.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told The Post in March, “We’ve asked Amazon not to copy the App Store name because it will confuse and mislead customers.”

Last week, a California federal judge ruled that Apple hadn’t proved that Amazon’s use of the term diluted the “App Store” name, though she did say that the term was not completely generic either.

GetJar, for its part, told the Journal that it will not back down from its fight with Apple. “This move by Apple is yet more proof that the company tends to act as if it is above the law, and even as one of the smaller players in the space, we won't be bullied by Apple,” GetJar CEO Ilja Laurs said in a statement to the newspaper.

Apple announced Thursday that its App Store had reached more 15 billion downloads, about three years after it launched the store. The company says now offers more than 425,000 apps, including 100,000 native iPad apps.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference last month that the iPad had 90,000 apps.

Not only is the store growing quickly, but that figure underscores Apple’s lead in the tablet market, since a common complaint about Android and other operating systems is that there are only a few hundred tablet-optimized apps.

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