By 12 January 2011 | Categories: news


Microsoft is trying to hinder Apple from filing a trademark application for the name “App Store”, arguing that name is too generic to be protected and that competitors should be able to use it. 

According to PCWorld, Apple applied to register the term in 2008 when it first launched the Apple App Store and the iPhone 3G. In the meantime the use of applications, more commonly referred to as apps, have spread to most other smartphone platforms, tablets and computers. 
Yesterday however Microsoft asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny the trademark to Apple and filed a motion for summary judgment with the agency's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
In the motion Microsoft calls on certain “undisputed facts” to prove that “app store” is simply too generic to be granted a protected status. These include:
  • “ “App” is a common generic name for the goods offered at Apple’s store, as shown in dictionary definitions and by widespread use by Apple and others.“
  • ” “Store” is generic for the “retail store services” for which Apple seeks registration, and indeed, Apple refers to its “App Store” as a store.”
Microsoft claims that Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, himself used “app store” as a generic name for online stores featuring apps when he stated in a recent interview:
“In addition to Google's own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own  app stores for Android. There will be at least four app stores on Android which customers must search through to find the app they want and developers will need to work to distribute their apps and get paid.”
In its original application for trademark, Apple described the App Store as "retail store services featuring computer software provided via the internet and other computer and electronic communication networks; Retail store services featuring computer software for use on handheld mobile digital electronic devices and other consumer electronics."
Apple’s application status on the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Inquiry System website currently reads “Opposition Pending”.


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