I think it's hilarious that Microsoft, the company that trademarked the name "Windows" for a windowing user interface, is objecting to Apple's application for a mark for "App store". Where was microsoft's objection to Sage or Salesforce.com's marks? Oh, that's right, they didn't make any.
The reason is, in 1998 and 2006, there was no Apple App Store, whose name they wanted to steal.
However, Sage networks abandoned their mark. They would have had a claim if they maintained the mark. The more relevant one is Salesforce.com's mark. They have a claim on the name, thus when they "gave" it to Apple, or abandoned it in deference to Apple, they are effectively transferring their rights to the name to Apple. (without actually selling the name.)
For amazon to prevail, they need to show that Salesforce has no right to the name also. And it would be damn hard to claim it was a generic term in 2006.... which also proves Apple's point. It only became well known when Apple introduced the App Store in 2008.
- 2011 Jul - Tim Cook refers to "app stores" in the generic sense in a quarterly call.
This is akin to Balmer talking about the mac and saying it "has windows". It's true, the mac does have windows, and had it before Windows did. Except that Windows is a completely generic term, while "App store" is a unique combination of two terms.
Originally Posted by KDarling
Still, the same words can
be trademarked if
the words become exclusively
associated with a certain company. Unfortunately, even Apple's own CEO has used "app store" in a generic sense, and consumers in general were already using "app store" the same way.
The term "App store" means Apple's App Store. Despite knowing about Amazon's "Amazon App Store" for years, I forget that it is called that. The idea that consumers in general have heard of it seems a bit silly. Certainly if you asked 100 people in america "who runs the app store", at least 99 out of 100 who didn't name some other company or didn't know would say Apple. I doubt even that 1 out of 100 would say Amazon.
The author of that article does not understand trademarks.