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If 'App Store' trademark is generic, so is Microsoft's 'Windows,' Apple argues

post #1 of 152
Thread Starter 
Apple has responded to Microsoft's complaint over a trademark filing for the term "App Store," with the iPhone maker calling out Microsoft's ownership of the name "Windows."

In its efforts to obtain a trademark for its App Store for iOS and Mac OS X, Apple has fired back at a complaint from Microsoft, according to TechFlash. Apple has argued with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that it is entitled to ownership of the App Store trademark in much the same way Microsoft is allowed to own "Windows" for its operating system.

"Having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed WINDOWS mark, Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public," Apple wrote.

"Yet, Microsoft, missing the forest for the trees, does not base its motion on a comprehensive evaluation of how the relevant public understands the term APP STORE as a whole."

Apple's comments come in response to Microsoft, which filed an objection to Apple's "App Store" trademark application in January. The Redmond, Wash., software giant has asked the USPTO to reject Apple's request on the grounds that the term "app store" is "generic for retail store services featuring apps and (is) unregistrable for ancillary services such as searching for and downloading apps from such stores."

"'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," Microsoft wrote. "And 'Store' is generic for the 'retail store services' for which Apple seeks registration, and indeed, Apple refers to its 'App Store' as a store."

In its own response to the USPTO, Apple cited linguistics expert Robert Leonard who said the predominant usage of the term "App Store" is in reference to Apple's digital storefront. Apple also noted that Microsoft uses the term "Marketplace" for its own online store to avoid using the terms "app store."

The case will be decided by the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Apple first filed for the App Store trademark soon after the iOS digital storefront launched in 2008.
post #2 of 152
Oh snap!
post #3 of 152
Apple. the fruit. get it.
post #4 of 152
I knew that folks at Apple read AI.....
post #5 of 152
This reminds me of a similar situation many years ago during the height of the Palm Pilot craze when Microsoft got into hot water when they labeled a product called the "Palm PC" and tried to make the argument that it was in no way related to the Palm Pilot.

They just keep repeating the same mistakes.
post #6 of 152
Microsoft can't make a phone. It can't even make a good software for a phone. Why is it fighting for "App Store"? To sell Windows? To sell Word?


AS A NOTE: Microsoft just dumped Danger it paid $500 million for, and wasted hundreds of millions more on. Sidekick owners will lose their service effective March 31st, 2011.

Steve Balmer is an idiot. No talent, only threatening and buying products he doesn't understand. When will the Board of Directors fire this moron?
post #7 of 152
MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.
post #8 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post

They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.

Oh, puh-leeze. Nobody ever even used the term "App" until Apple popularized it. Windows users never even called their programs "applications" -- they always called them "Programs" or "Program Files". Even Apple themselves didn't use the word "App" until the iPhone came out. Apple invented this word and they deserve the right to use it... nobody else.

Go, Apple!!
post #9 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post

MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.

You mean their Application Stores.
post #10 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post

MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.

So I could create and sell an OS called "______ Windows" as long as I didn't fill in the blank with Microsoft? I kind of doubt that.
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post #11 of 152
Quote:
The case will be DESIGNED(?????) by the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Apple first filed for the App Store trademark soon after the iOS digital storefront launched in 2008.

One mistake a few times can be ignored, but if it happens too often.... it reflects on the writer and the publication.

CGC
post #12 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Apple invented this word and they deserve the right to use it... nobody else.

Actually, they didn't. There are myriad documented uses of "app" before the iPhone. It's fine if you wish to defend their trademarking "App store," but let's not revise history simply to make a point, k?
post #13 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post

MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.

Or Microsoft can call their store the "Application Store" and kick themselves for not being savvy enough to drop formalities, and push an abbreviation that's catchier.

Google can do the same - the 'Android Application Store'. Bunch of crybabies. Apple does not need to share their branding ideas and marketing with these clowns.
post #14 of 152
Good one.
post #15 of 152
Microsoft already has a name for its store. It is Marketplace, even if they change the name to copy Apple it will still suck.
post #16 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post

?.. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.

MS and Google don't use the phrase "App Store" and nobody on this planet associates the term App Store with either of them.

There is the App Store which is clearly Apple and then there is the Windows Marketplace and the Andriod Market. In essence, MS should be whining awning Googles use of the term "market".

Whatever.
post #17 of 152
Pawned! FTW
post #18 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

So I could create and sell an OS called "______ Windows" as long as I didn't fill in the blank with Microsoft? I kind of doubt that.

Don't give Google any ideas.
post #19 of 152
This is just the nth reason why Copyright is silly.
post #20 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post

MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.

According to registration # 2463526 or serial # 75879977 Microsoft owns WINDOWS, as well as a bunch of variations such as WINDOWS XP, WINDOWS ME, etc. I just looked it up in TESS.

edit: Here's a cut and paste from my search

94 75879977 2463526 WINDOWS TARR LIVE
95 75811226 2729524 WINDOWS POWERED TARR DEAD
96 75573286 2513051 WINDOWS TARR DEAD
97 75982727 2640353 WINDOWS XP TARR LIVE
98 75982782 2640357 WINDOWS XP TARR LIVE
99 75517786 2635678 WINDOWS MEDIA TARR LIVE
100 75888922 2559770 WINDOWS ME TARR LIVE
post #21 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by sticknick View Post

MS and Google don't use the phrase "App Store" and nobody on this planet associates the term App Store with either of them.

There is the App Store which is clearly Apple and then there is the Windows Marketplace and the Andriod Market. In essence, MS should be whining awning Googles use of the term "market".

Whatever.

I mean wow. Now a company can't use a name like "market" for their own market of applications? In no time no other company can't even build a market, for they will end out of words to use! This is outrageously ridiculous, to buy off the dictionary like this. We, as a species, are insane.
post #22 of 152
Radio Shack better watch its ass. Might be forced to change its name to "House"

No single word in any language should be registrable in any country where that is the primary language.
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #23 of 152
The argument from MS does make sense.

The generic term for windows is "operating system" and the distinction between "windows" and "operating system" is quiet clear. Or did you ever talk about "mac os x" or even "linux" by saying "hey my new windows is cool" while refering to another os?

App Store on the other hand is "application store" in short. if Apple could get the trademark on "app" then no prob with the store. But using two generic terms in a context where they are generic, i.e. you buy apps in the app store, does make a trademark claim hard.


PS: ofc the "general public" thinks of the app store as the apple app store because they have a biiiiig share in the relevant market.
post #24 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post

MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.

Microsoft has trademarked Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows Mobile, Windows 7 Phone, etc without Microsoft in it.

For more info:
http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal...e/Windows.aspx
post #25 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post

Oh, puh-leeze. Nobody ever even used the term "App" until Apple popularized it. Windows users never even called their programs "applications" -- they always called them "Programs" or "Program Files". Even Apple themselves didn't use the word "App" until the iPhone came out. Apple invented this word and they deserve the right to use it... nobody else.

Go, Apple!!

BS! We used the term app commonly in the software industry long before Apple "invented" it. However it was generally use in a two word description like "native apps," "web apps," and "portable apps." Apple did coin the term "app store" though. Prior to them doing so no one ever thought of an "app store" per se. Even Handango which is arguably one of the first mobile application stores years before Apple "invented" the app store didn't call themselves an app store.

So I agree Apple should be able to TM "App store" because I can't think of anyone else ever using it before them. Not successfully.
post #26 of 152
Lawyer fight!
post #27 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

... No single word in any language should be registrable in any country where that is the primary language.

What about numbers? IBM has a trademark on '400', and perhaps some other numbers such as, '36', '370', '390', '6000'
post #28 of 152
FACEs BOOK => FACEBOOK

Application Store => "App Store"
a store for applications (?).

Apple Store => "App Store"
a store from Apple that sells applications created by a multitude of developers.

To my knowledge, the Term "App Store" has never been used by the Apple Computer, Inc., nor any other computer or tech company before that. From what was indicated in the documents, Apple filed trademark protection, almost immediately after it coined the term: App Store.

A company is given five years to protect any term or trademark it has coined, even it gets universally accepted and become part of the idiom.

Bayer lost its trademark right to the term "Aspirin", a drug formulation first created by Bayer, when the drug company did not protect it with trademark application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redbarchetta View Post

Actually, they didn't. There are myriad documented uses of "app" before the iPhone. It's fine if you wish to defend their trademarking "App store," but let's not revise history simply to make a point, k?

Indeed, the term App and Store are generic, but the term "App Store" was never in use, in the context that Apple did once it created the "App Store", unless you can point to me a reference to the contrary. And, even if others have used the term before, if it has not been trademarked by the original creator, others, like many companies do may trademark the word or term (as is the case with "App Store") within a given time window before it becomes generic (see above).

Apple won the right to use the statement:

"There's an App for that ... Only at Apple***"

and that it is accurate to .

Each word in the statement is generic on its own, but conveyed a different meaning when the entirety is taken into context.

It was the fact that the Apple "App Store" had hundreds of thousands of Apps, then (now more than 360K) and could safely claim that their ads has Apps in the ones they claim to have

CGC

***This was an advertising dispute, raised by someone to the UK advertising board (???) and complained that Apple could not make the said statement, because other mobile ecosystems have similar applications.
post #29 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

What about numbers? IBM has a trademark on '400'.

Same applies. Should Warner Bros. be given a trademark for 300?

Hell, maybe I'll go for 7, 11, 13, 21 & 69 .... especially 69. Now there is built-in marketing appeal!!


..... and I forgot, 24
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OMG here we go again...
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post #30 of 152
Apple just needs to call it the 'Apple App Store' to distinguish it from other app stores (Windows Marketplace, Android Market, Ovi Store etc, all of which are app stores).
post #31 of 152
Windows is trademarked (with registration #1872264) because it's not a generic term for an operating system. This is why anyone else can still use the word windows in describing windows. It's a very fine distinction, but relevant. See the 1990 filing:
IC 009. US 038. G & S: computer programs and manuals sold as a unit; namely, graphical operating environment programs for microcomputers.

The App Store is a lot more generic in Apple's usage because it's an app store that's being called App Store. If Microsoft was selling glass panels and calling them Windows, that would be a more relevant comparison.

Apple's better argument is whether when people hear App Store, do they think Apple's App Store, or are other stores considered? Do people use the term Android App Store or Android Marketplace, or for that matter Microsoft, RIM, Nokia, etc...?
post #32 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has responded to Microsoft's complaint over a trademark filing for the term "App Store," with the iPhone maker calling out Microsoft's ownership of the name "Windows."

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OC4Theo View Post

Steve Balmer is an idiot. No talent, only threatening and buying products he doesn't understand. When will the Board of Directors fire this moron?

A mystery for sure, but let's hope he hangs on as M$ CEO forever!

Quote:
Originally Posted by willgonz View Post

Microsoft already has a name for its store. It is Marketplace, even if they change the name to copy Apple it will still suck.

The only thing that M$ does that wouldn't suck is if they started to copy Hoover Vacuum cleaners!
post #33 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post

This is just the nth reason why Copyright is silly.

You obviously never say anything original of value.
post #34 of 152
I would be happy for Apple to give up the App Store when MSFT gives up Windows.

Mac OS - the Original Windows OS!
(commercially available that is)
post #35 of 152
I would be happy for Apple to give up the App Store when MSFT gives up Windows.

Mac OS - the Original Windows OS!
(commercially available that is)
post #36 of 152
D'oh! Somebody please show Microsoft the 'Door'!
post #37 of 152
post #38 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

No single word in any language should be registrable in any country where that is the primary language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuisDias View Post

I mean wow. Now a company can't use a name like "market" for their own market of applications? In no time no other company can't even build a market, for they will end out of words to use!

Don't let your ignorance of copyright and trademark laws become the foundation of your hate for Apple, or any company

As noted in previous post, copyright and trademark laws in the US and the world, allow the copyright of a word, to brand itself in a given field, if no one has copyrighted it yet.

IBM -- may have different meanings, but the original International Business Machine (IBM), has trademark "IBM" so no one is allow to use it, as a trademark

At the same time, a company cannot claim automatic trademark of a word, even if it the first to create or coin it, as was the case with the term "Aspirin" (see previous post).

Then, there is the creation of a "new term" to convey a different meaning altogether

Face and book may be generic words, but "Facebook" is a new term

And, so is "App Store" (see above)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

I would be happy for Apple to give up the App Store when MSFT gives up Windows.

Mac OS - the Original Windows OS!
(commercially available that is)

but yout happiness, or those of the detractors here, is not the focus of copyright and trademark laws.

CGC
post #39 of 152
Meh. Doesn't hold water. If I were the judge, I'd tell them to come up with something better.

Prior to Windows, and even still today, people refer to the "windows" as screens. Windows was obviously a different take on this, like each screen was a window into something new and exciting (yeah, really gay.)

An "app store" is all that is: A store to buy apps from. Apple fails to realize that people have been calling software "Apps" or "Appz" for AGES.

If Microsoft called their software "Screens" then Apple's argument would make sense. The use of "Windows" was creative, while "App store" is not, plain and simple.

Apple fails.
post #40 of 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmmx View Post

I would be happy for Apple to give up the App Store when MSFT gives up Windows.

Mac OS - the Original Windows OS!
(commercially available that is)

Perhaps "windowing OS" would work better?
And, btw, you *could* buy Xerox Star back then, they just didn't market it very well.
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