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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: Good
By HighWing on 1/12/2011 10:19:03 AM , Rating: 5
The word 'app' wasn't common until Apple began using it.

That is were you are quite wrong, and saying such a thing only shows how young you really are.

The term "app" as in referring to a software application has been around for as long as there have been people writing software for computers. In other words, much longer than apple ever even dreamed of using it in the phrase "App Store" However the most common used form of it was in the phrase "Killer App", which you can find dates in the wiki article that clearly predate any notion of apple's App Store by decades!

Also, MS trade marking Windows is fairly different from Apple trade marking App Store. MS was trade marking the name of their software OS. Where as apple is trying to trademark a name for their store, which is to say, it's a name for their idea, and not software.

Furthermore MS didn't actively try to get people to stop calling things Windows. Whereas we all know if Apple wins this trademark, they will undoubtedly file a lawsuit against Google, MS, BlackBerry, and any other company using the phrase App Store.

And Finally, you are forgetting the very meaning of the word "Trademark"! In the case of MS using Windows, that was clearly the name or "mark" of their "trade" software. Whereas the term "App Store" is already not common to just Apple's iPhone application store. And the term "App" is by no means unique to Apple!

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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