Print 38 comment(s) - last by SoCalBoomer.. on Feb 7 at 5:35 PM

Challenges Apple's claim to "App Store"

Microsoft is challenging Apple's filing for a trademark on the term "App Store," Good Gear Guide reports, because it feels the term is generic and that competitors should be able to use it as well.

In its 2008 filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Apple defined an app store as "retail store services featuring computer software provided via the internet and other computer and electronic communication networks." Its App Store was launched that year, along with the iPhone 3GS. It now boasts more than 300,000 available apps. Most recently, Apple launched the Mac App Store just weeks ago, for use with its desktop computers and laptops. 

Microsoft filed a motion with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board yesterday, challenging Apple's claim to the term. Apple's trademark request page says "an opposition is now pending."

Microsoft argues that both "app" and "store" are generic terms, and that consumers use the term "app store" generically to refer to an online store where applications are sold. It even used Steve Jobs' own words against him, quoting a published interview where the Apple CEO said, "Amazon, Verizon, and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android."

"Competitors should be free to use 'app store' to identify their own stores and the services offered in conjunction with those stores," Microsoft said.

Microsoft launched its own app store in conjunction with the release of Windows Phone 7 devices in October. By comparison, it had 4,000 available apps to download as of mid-December. Research firm IDC praised the quick ascent of the new OS's marketplace.

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RE: Generic terms...
By Shadowself on 1/12/2011 8:50:24 AM , Rating: -1
My thoughts exactly.

I remember when Microsoft filed for the trademark for "Windows". The term was in use with regard to many non Microsoft GUIs long before Microsoft filed for a trademark on it.

Either Microsoft needs to give up the "Windows" trademark or it needs to shut up about an "app store" trademark.

But then who ever said *any* of these companies are consistent in their government filings?

RE: Generic terms...
By vol7ron on 1/12/2011 9:50:20 AM , Rating: 2
Window is not trademarked.. Window s is.

It's also important to note it only applies to the software industry. A whole other industry (dare I say window industry?) could coin the word.

RE: Generic terms...
By Shadowself on 1/12/2011 7:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
So when all of us back then, long before Microsoft filed for the trademark, were saying we had multiple "windows" open on our computer screen that does not count? That word *does* have an "s" at the end of it.

I thought it asinine back then for Microsoft to trademark "Windows" just as I believe it is asinine for Apple to try to trademark "App Store" now.

It is really fun to watch people try to justify Microsoft's actions while berating Apple. They are both in the wrong -- as was the USPTO.

It's even more interesting when I think that most of the posters on this thread were NOT computer users almost 30 years ago when I *was* using computers with multiple "window s " open concurrently. It was a generic term way back then. It should still be a generic term now.

RE: Generic terms...
By vol7ron on 1/12/2011 10:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
So when all of us back then, long before Microsoft filed for the trademark, were saying we had multiple "windows" open on our computer screen that does not count?

No. I don't even understand the point you're trying to make.

That's like, when Newton was talking about that thing that fell from a tree, that doesn't count? It was an apple then, it's an Apple now.

RE: Generic terms...
By SoCalBoomer on 2/7/2011 5:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously - you were using Windows in 1980, before the Macintosh? Shenanigans. . .

I *WAS* using computers in 1980 and they were almost entirely CP/M with absolutely no windows, merely a C> prompt; OR a DOS machine or Apple II. Certainly not anything with a GUI.

Unless you were working for Xerox PARC, you weren't working on Windows back then. Mac wasn't until 84 and we weren't calling them windows then, really, and not using multiple ones since 128K wasn't enough to do much of anything, and no HDD meant using floppies so having multiple windows open was pretty useless. . .

BTW - you also seem to forget that Apple sued HP over the use of the term windows. . . evil when MS does it (trademarks it) but not when Apple does (sues)?

Windows 1 was announced before the Mac came out and was released just after - so they're all pretty close to the vest (although MS Win 1 sucked) and the trademark gotten in 91, during the Windows 3 era.

Don't be tossing numbers around if there's questionable facts to support them. You weren't using "window S " thirty years ago unless you were among a VERY small and VERY elite group (which I doubt as you'd be VERY rich right now as they all are. . .)

RE: Generic terms...
By SJBMusic on 1/12/11, Rating: -1
RE: Generic terms...
By erikstarcher on 1/13/2011 1:01:16 PM , Rating: 1
But Microsoft's trademark on "Windows" is only for an operating system. Beyond the operating system, the word is freely usable. Just like Word for a word processor, but in no other use. If Apple says that you can open multiple windows on their system, and each window can have a word in it, Microsoft can do nothing about it. It is all in the context used.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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