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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 tng on 1/12/2011 10:06:08 AM , Rating: 2

I would point out that while MS would probably not sue over something containing the word "Windows" when it is used to describe a feature of your house. If someone found a novel and popular way to use "App" in something completely unrelated to software, Apple would probably sue.

Just my gut feeling on that. It seems that Apple has become the giant corporate bully that we would all demonize if they sold say, petroleum products.

RE: Generic terms...
By INeedCache on 1/13/2011 8:47:10 AM , Rating: 2
I think Apple will get rejected. However, should they be successful, what would be fun would be to see the petroleum industry use "app" or "app store" (although insanely unlikely) just to see what Apple would do. Because anyone who knows anything about the petroleum industry knows they rule with the deepest pockets in the world by far, and would completely bury Apple. Heck, they would just buy Apple out of their petty cash fund.

RE: Generic terms...
By Gio6518 on 1/14/2011 12:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
Wait a minute did you forget about Lindows

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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