Microsoft fights Apple trademark on 'App Store'

The name is generic and competitors should be able to use it, Microsoft says

Microsoft is asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny Apple a trademark on the name "App Store," saying the term is generic and competitors should be able to use it.

Apple applied for the trademark in 2008 for goods and services including "retail store services featuring computer software provided via the internet and other computer and electronic communication networks" and other related offerings. Apple launched its App Store for the iPhone that year along with its iPhone 3G. The store is now available on any device that runs the company's iOS software, namely the iPod Touch and iPad, and Apple introduced its Mac App Store earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Microsoft filed a motion for summary judgment with the agency's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, asking it to deny the trademark to Apple. The status page for Apple's trademark request says "an opposition is now pending" at the trial board. The Seattle-based news site TechFlashPodcast reported on Microsoft's filing on Tuesday and provided a link to Microsoft's filing.

In its motion, Microsoft said "app" is a generic term for what is sold at the App Store and that "store" is generic for retail store services. Apple's archrival also attempted to use CEO Steve Jobs' own words against him, citing a published interview that quoted Jobs as saying "Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android."

Microsoft also said consumers and the trade and general media use "app store" generically to mean online stores where applications are sold.

"'App store' is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use. Competitors should be free to use 'app store' to identify their own stores and the services offered in conjunction with those stores," Microsoft said.

Apple's online store represented a new idea for mobile software shopping when it was launched and quickly became a big success, emulated by many other handset makers and some mobile operators.

Microsoft launched an online store for applications to run on Windows Phone 7 devices after that platform went on sale late last year. In December, research company IDC said Microsoft's store had reached 4,000 available applications in just two months. That growth compared favorably with the expansion of offerings in the Apple and Android mobile software stores during comparable times in their history, IDC said.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Applee-commerceapplicationsMicrosoftintellectual propertylegalsoftwareinternet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?