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Salesforce chief gave Steve Jobs “App Store” trademark as token of appreciation

post #1 of 52
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Salsesforce chief executive Marc Benioff revealed this week that he handed over his firm's App Store trademark to Apple as a way of thanking co-founder Steve Jobs for personal insight and support over the years.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Benioff said he has on multiple occasions turned to Jobs for professional guidance, specifically recounting a particular event from 2003 when he took members of his executive team to see the iconic Apple leader. The feedback received during that meeting motivated Benioff to focus on building an ecosystem for Salesforces fantastic enterprise application, which is how Jobs described it.

That ecosystem became an app store itself known as the Salesforce App Exchange. However, its creators had originally registered the "App Store" URL and trademarked the phrase, before deciding to settle on App Exchange instead.

Benioff was in the audience in 2008 when Jobs introduced Apple's own App Store to analysts and members of the media. At the end of the presentation, he walked up to Jobs and told him: Im gonna [sic] give you the trademark and the URL because of the help you gave me in 2003.

He has probably given me more help and more advice than just about anybody," Benioff said of Jobs. "And when I get in trouble and I kinda [sic] get lost in my own vision, Ive been fortunate to be able to go and see him and hes been willing to show me the future a couple times.

When asked about Apples future without Jobs, Benioff said he believes that the company can stay on top for quite some time even after losing the best CEO in the world, which is what he considers Jobs to be.



Apples App Store concept became a critical component of Apples mobile ecosystem. The digital download store offers a large inventory of free and paid applications which can be installed and run on iOS devices such as iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. As of May 2011 Apple approved over 500,000 apps, which have been downloaded over 15 billion times by over 200 million iOS users.

The Cupertino-based company's competitors have also embarked on similar initiatives as part of their smartphone environments. Google owns the second most popular application store, the Android Market, and companies like Microsoft, Nokia, RIM and Amazon operate the Windows Phone Marketplace, the Ovi Store, the BlackBerry App World and the Appstore, respectively.

The latter, an online application distribution system for Android devices, sparked tensions between Apple and Amazon due to the similarities between the names of these two digital stores.

Microsoft has also voiced concerns against the App Store trademark for being too generic. The software maker has filed objections to the mark in both in the USA and European Union, where it was backed by various handset makers including HTC, Nokia, or Sony Ericsson.
post #2 of 52
How ironic would it be if the court does decide that the term is too generic?
post #3 of 52
Regardless if they do deem it too generic or not... it's still a great token of generosity.

 

 

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post #4 of 52
I wonder if this ownership strengthen's Apple case or if there is no effect whatsoever.
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post #5 of 52
No effect, I assume. Still a kind gesture.
post #6 of 52
If it was trademarked by Salesforce, and the trademark was acquired by Apple, how can others just appropriate it willy-nilly and defend their actions by saying it is too generic? It wasn't generic in ca. 2003 when Salesforce coined it. Is the problem that everyone else copied it in the meantime and Apple failed to defend it, making the trademark moot?
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post #7 of 52
I find it completely unnecessary, and quite weird, to put [sic] after "gonna" and "kinda" in spoken quotes.
post #8 of 52
This speaks volumes about Steve Jobs and Marc Benioff. How often do you hear of one company giving another company a URL and Trade Mark free of charge?
post #9 of 52
Nice story. I would have done the same.

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post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

If it was trademarked by Salesforce, and the trademark was acquired by Apple, how can others just appropriate it willy-nilly and defend their actions by saying it is too generic?

One must understand that there's a counter-RDF that arises where fronteirs of Apples success encounters the MeToo-Plagirisers and Freetards domains. Like the Samsung and Motorola apologists that insists that Xoom and Galaxy Tab doesn't ripoff the design and success of iPad. And the folks at Google who designs Anrdoid to be as similar to iOS as they possibly can without being astoundingly obvious. The delusion of being inventive when you're just engaging in mimicry is tragic.
post #11 of 52
Wow. If I ever need or know someone that can use their service, their getting my recommendation. Classy CEO and company.

Unlike Google who looks into SJ for guidance, then turning around to screw SJ.
post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

If it was trademarked by Salesforce, and the trademark was acquired by Apple, how can others just appropriate it willy-nilly and defend their actions by saying it is too generic? It wasn't generic in ca. 2003 when Salesforce coined it. Is the problem that everyone else copied it in the meantime and Apple failed to defend it, making the trademark moot?

Nobody was using the term until Apple started using it, so the Salesforce trademark should still be valid. Since Salesforce is willing to or has transferred the trademark to Apple, then it should still be a valid trademark.
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post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_b View Post

This speaks volumes about Steve Jobs and Marc Benioff. How often do you hear of one company giving another company a URL and Trade Mark free of charge?

How often do you hear about the CEO of a big company giving advice as a mentor to another CEO while expecting nothing in return?

You might say, "But that URL could have been worth millions of dollars to Salesforce.com if they had sold it to Apple.

But the advice that Steve gave Marc could have been worth many more millions (or even billions) of dollars.
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

How ironic would it be if the court does decide that the term is too generic?

"App Store" is too generic but "Windows" isn't?
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

"App Store" is too generic but "Windows" isn't?

Windows doesn't have a thing to do with computing (HAR! ). App Store does exactly what it says.

So that's their argument.

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post #16 of 52
App Store is actually not generic.
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post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henriok View Post

One must understand that there's a counter-RDF that arises where fronteirs of Apples success encounters the MeToo-Plagirisers and Freetards domains. Like the Samsung and Motorola apologists that insists that Xoom and Galaxy Tab doesn't ripoff the design and success of iPad. And the folks at Google who designs Anrdoid to be as similar to iOS as they possibly can without being astoundingly obvious. The delusion of being inventive when you're just engaging in mimicry is tragic.

It's like you have "xeroxed" my thoughts!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slapppy View Post

Wow. If I ever need or know someone that can use their service, their getting my recommendation. Classy CEO and company.

Unlike Google who looks into SJ for guidance, then turning around to screw SJ.

I agree!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

Nobody was using the term until Apple started using it, so the Salesforce trademark should still be valid. Since Salesforce is willing to or has transferred the trademark to Apple, then it should still be a valid trademark.

I Agree!!! And yet again I wonder how such Legal Cases even come up!!! It's pretty SHAMEFUL!!!

In the recent few days, as Steve Jobs resigned, there was such a huge outpouring of RESPECT in the media coverage!!! I doubt that we'll see any such Magnitude of Respect shown to another Business Leader anytime soon! It was on the level with Presidents, or some other Big Historic Figures! And there was Steve Job, who lives a pretty Private Life! So... I wonder how the CEO's of those Big Name companies can wake up and go to bed daily knowing fully well that they are simply trying to steal other man's property in a broad day light!!!! Droids, iPads are a SHAMEFULLY Copycat Me Too Products, and now with this App Store topic, it's BS Wordplay Soap Opera that wastes tons of $$$ and time! Those costs unfortunately will not be used for Medical Research and other noble causes... SHAMEFUL!!!!!

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I don't know what the Solution is to all that, but I do see that there is a huge need for it, and soon!!!

Thanks to all those whom I quoted! I wish there were Like, Agree, Thumbs Up/Down Buttons on this Forum...

 

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post #18 of 52
Had anyone ever heard the term "App Store" being used before Apple started using it? If App Store is too generic, how is "The Container Store" not generic?
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post

I find it completely unnecessary, and quite weird, to put [sic] after "gonna" and "kinda" in spoken quotes.

Agreed. It's a misusage since the words it was used on are not "unusual" in normal speech. In fact they appear in most dictionaries as simple contractions.
post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

"App Store" is too generic but "Windows" isn't?

And how about "Apple"?
post #21 of 52
Was it Marc Benioff's to give away? Did the board at Salesforce.com OK that? Not saying they should've held on to it, but that it seems to have had financial value to the shareholders (currently trademark challenges not withstanding).

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post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post

I find it completely unnecessary, and quite weird, to put [sic] after "gonna" and "kinda" in spoken quotes.

I agree.
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

Was it Marc Benioff's to give away? Did the board at Salesforce.com OK that? Not saying they should've held on to it, but that it seems to have had financial value to the shareholders (currently trademark challenges not withstanding).

Did the shareholders get together and offer to pay Steve Jobs for his guidance?

After all they probably benefitted from it.
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post #24 of 52
His status will certainly have gone down in Steve Job's opinion.

Unless 'there is no such thing as a free lunch' holds true behind closed doors.
post #25 of 52
Steve has only stepped down as CEO ... he is Chairman of the Board. But at a fundamental level, Apple will never be without Steve Jobs. Apple is Steve Jobs and vice versa.

This is what people (notably self proclaimed technology journalists) don't get.
post #26 of 52
Microsoft, HTC, etc. Give it up.

Having your claim of "too generic" approved is NOT gonna make your 'app stores' suck less.
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post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Had anyone ever heard the term "App Store" being used before Apple started using it? If App Store is too generic, how is "The Container Store" not generic?

No. Before Apple started calling them 'Apps' everyone else called them programs. Or rarely, executables. Or just generically, software.

I've been working with computers / technology since the early 1980s and the first time I ever heard the term 'App' used to refer to software was when I started using OS X. In my experience, that is when programs became packaged in App bundles that used the suffix .app

Putting them in the /Applications folder further reinforced the idea of refering to them as applications or apps for short. Eg. "Apps" go in the "/Applications" folder, and on that other computer, "Programs" go in "c\Program Manager" - seems pretty well differentiated to me right from the start.

So IMHO the terminology "App" carried from OS X into iOS and therefore, Apple did coin the term.

Cheers
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

App Store is actually not generic.

The question is whether it can be trademarked by one company, and the answer is clearly, yes. Saleforce.com.

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post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atashi View Post

No. Before Apple started calling them 'Apps' everyone else called them programs. Or rarely, executables. Or just generically, software.

I've been working with computers / technology since the early 1980s and the first time I ever heard the term 'App' used to refer to software was when I started using OS X. In my experience, that is when programs became packaged in App bundles that used the suffix .app

Putting them in the /Applications folder further reinforced the idea of refering to them as applications or apps for short. Eg. "Apps" go in the "/Applications" folder, and on that other computer, "Programs" go in "c\Program Manager" - seems pretty well differentiated to me right from the start.

So IMHO the terminology "App" carried from OS X into iOS and therefore, Apple did coin the term.

Cheers

Well, it didn't matter that the term "container" was in common use before The Container Store got their trademark. Nor did it matter that "apple" was in common use before The Apple Store was trademarked.

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post #30 of 52
Salesforce.com is a public company. How can its CEO just "give" an asset worth millions of dollars to another company? What did the Salesforce share holders get out of this deal? If the CEO had given Apple a building owned by Salesforce worth millions of dollars, would everyone been so nonchalant?
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post

I find it completely unnecessary, and quite weird, to put [sic] after "gonna" and "kinda" in spoken quotes.

Dunno if he "said" it or the writer added it for whatever reason (apparently the latter - see below), but he seems like a decent, normal guy, whereas, I've hardly ever seen "sic" used in something that didn't creep me out a little.

To me it seems a favorite of people like religious and political fanatics and maybe serial killers. That is, as soon as I encounter it, I begin to have a suspicion I'm dealing with someone and something I'd really rather not.

Still, after all these years, I don't know what it really means and when it's "supposed" to be used. But I could check, I guess....
Sic—generally inside square brackets, [sic], and occasionally parentheses, (sic)—when added just after a quote or reprinted text, indicates the passage appears exactly as in the original source. The usual purpose is to inform readers that any errors or apparent errors in the copied material are not from transcription—that they are reproduced exactly from the original writer or printer. A bracketed sic may also be used as a form of ridicule or as a humorous comment, typically by drawing attention to the original writer's mistakes. Huh. How about them apples... ...He (Chris Smith the writer) used it correctly. But it's still creepy, so I'd watch out for Chris, LoL.

Also from the article above, this pun:

"Poor grammar makes me [sic]!

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post #32 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_b View Post

This speaks volumes about Steve Jobs and Marc Benioff. How often do you hear of one company giving another company a URL and Trade Mark free of charge?

Hundreds of little 'transactions' like this happen all the time, in all our lives (and I'll bet many dozens have in SJ's life). It's not always about contracts and lawyers and courts and bureaucrats (although that's all that makes the news).....

This is what makes it all worthwhile in the long run.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post

I find it completely unnecessary, and quite weird, to put [sic] after "gonna" and "kinda" in spoken quotes.

I agree, I don't believe it's necessary unless the original speaker unintentionally misspoke (which is clearly not the case here)
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post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

Salesforce.com is a public company. How can its CEO just "give" an asset worth millions of dollars to another company? What did the Salesforce share holders get out of this deal? If the CEO had given Apple a building owned by Salesforce worth millions of dollars, would everyone been so nonchalant?

Great question. if it occurred just as described, the CEO may have overstepped his bounds.

There are two scenarios where it's not an issue:

1. The CEO determined that the value was actually relatively small and that the benefits he received from Apple were adequate compensation. Given that Salesforce.com apparently didn't do anything with it, that is entirely plausible. It may have been worthless to them - and he had no way of knowing that it might be valuable to someone else.

2. If the CEO felt that there was significant value, he would have needed Board approval.

In reality, I don't think the value of the name is that great. Apple could have called it something else and it probably would have done just as well.
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post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

I agree, I don't believe it's necessary unless the original speaker unintentionally misspoke (which is clearly not the case here)

Actually, I think it is more useful when the writer is concerned that the reader will not be able to determine if the error was part of the quote or a misquote. The intention of the speaker is not at issue...
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post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

Salesforce.com is a public company. How can its CEO just "give" an asset worth millions of dollars to another company? What did the Salesforce share holders get out of this deal? If the CEO had given Apple a building owned by Salesforce worth millions of dollars, would everyone been so nonchalant?

The CEO can counter that SalesForce has grown in much greater added value thanks to it's innovative CEO knowing his limitations and smart enough to leverage his connections by taking sage advice from Steven P. Jobs, thus producing considerable new revenue.

SalesForce redirected it's products after Steve gave that advice.

If you think a CEO has to ask shareholders how the company needs to take a collective pee every time you don't understand what is or is not a publicly traded corporation.
post #37 of 52
How on earth is this even a valid trademark? you cannot trademark generic terms, No one could get a trademark for shoe store, book store, or computer store - so why App Store?

Is there anyone at the PTO who even knows what the fuck a computer is? are the PTO reviewers living in the dark ages?
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post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_greer View Post

How on earth is this even a valid trademark? you cannot trademark generic terms, No one could get a trademark for shoe store, book store, or computer store - so why App Store?

Is there anyone at the PTO who even knows what the fuck a computer is? are the PTO reviewers living in the dark ages?

Yep, the dark old days pre 2008.
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post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

However, its creators had originally registered the "App Store" URL and trademarked the phrase, before deciding to settle on App Exchange instead.

Under US Law you can't sell a trademark without the underlying business, as I understand it. It's not clear to me whether they had actually registered it either, but in any case, they apparently were not using it and by 2008 would have been in danger of losing it by abandonment.

So, if they couldn't sell it then it probably wasn't worth much to them anyway, and this was probably a reasonable course of action.
post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

Under US Law you can't sell a trademark without the underlying business, as I understand it.

That is incorrect. A trademark is property like any other.

The only complexity is that you can not force the USPTO to recognize it in the hands of the new owner. Thus, it would typically only be sold without the underlying business to someone who wanted to use it for exactly the items covered by the original trademark.
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