Microsoft objects to Apple's "App Store" trademark application

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft has filed an objection to Apple's application for the "App Store" trademark, calling the term too generic to be fairly registered.



Apple filed for the trademark shortly after the launch of the iPhone App Store in July 2008, describing 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."



On Monday, Microsoft challenged Apple's application by filing a motion for a summary judgment that would deny Apple the trademark, PC World reports. According to the filing, the Redmond, Wash., software giant objects to the trademark on the "grounds that 'app store' is generic for retail store services featuring apps and unregistrable for ancillary services such as searching for and downloading apps from such stores."



The filing alleges that "undisputed facts" establish that 'app store' is generic for retail store services featuring apps: "'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," 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."



The motion goes on to cite a recent quote from Apple's own Steve Jobs as evidence of the term's use as a generic name. "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," the filing quotes Jobs as having said. "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."



According to Microsoft, Apple has unfairly prevented other companies from referring to their application retail stores as app stores. "Microsoft would like the ability to use 'app store' to fairly describe its own retail store services for apps, but Apple asserts that such uses are infringements of its rights and it has sent demand letters to companies using 'App Store' in their names," the motion reads. "Apple?s demands have apparently caused some competitors to change their use to 'Application Store' or 'App Marketplace.'"



After years of losing smartphone market share to Apple's popular iPhone, Microsoft released a new mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7, along with Marketplace, its answer to Apple's App Store, last fall. At the end of December, it was revealed that the Windows Phone 7 platform had reached the 5,000 app milestone, well behind the more than 300,000 apps available for Apple's iOS.



Adding to the controversy over app store names, Apple recently opened a second app store, dubbed the Mac App Store. Developers, including Apple, have already seen early success with app downloads from the store.



The appstore.com domain was previously owned by Salesforce.com, but has since been transferred to Apple.



Apple is no stranger to trademark disagreements. In 2007, Cisco sued Apple over the iPhone trademark after negotiations between the two companies broke down. The dispute was quickly resolved, however, with both companies allowed to use the trademark.



Last year, Apple acquired the U.S. rights to the iPad trademark from Fujitsu in March, but was threatened with a lawsuit by Taiwanese manufacturer Proview in October. Apple had purchased the "global rights" to the trademark from the company in 2006, but Proview maintains that the Chinese rights were held by a separate subsidiary.



An online advertising company sued Apple last year, alleging that the iPhone maker infringes on its "iAds" trademark. Apple reportedly paid a "7-figure settlement" to resolve the complaint.
«1345678

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 153
    Windows
  • Reply 2 of 153
    ronboronbo Posts: 669member
    Microsoft has trademarked "Word" and long ago sued a man because his product name used the Hebrew word for "bookshelf" which they also owned. It's hard to know how they can fairly object that something sounds too general. If their objection is upheld (which may or may not have merit... I'm no expert), it should automatically be applied to their own line.
  • Reply 3 of 153
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    They can call theirs; Windows Store.



    Anyone can claim that Windows is generic, like Window in my house. Or rather, Microsoft missed "Window of opportunity"



    How can you object to someone's trademark application? When you can't compete, you fight. That must be the tactics to competition. After all, all brains at Microsoft have left to better things, leaving Ballmer "the big mouth" to make full of himself.
  • Reply 4 of 153
    normally i'd agree about too generic trademarks but in this case apple should win cos they were the ones to refer to installed software as apps and applications. on windows it's "programs" and generically it's software



    they can call theirs winstore or the prog store... or how about app shop?
  • Reply 5 of 153
    Rapidly the mind share surrounding Microsoft is eroding away, in all industries.
  • Reply 6 of 153
    aeolianaeolian Posts: 189member
    I hope the courts agree. They did trademark the name "Apps". So maybe Microsoft could call their store an "application" store instead of an "app" store. How is this... I'm just perplexed about how people attack Apple over wording. Come up with your own idea please!!!!! I know that's a 'fangirl' statement, but seriously?



    Make up your own 'store' and trademark your own "store" once you have one.
  • Reply 7 of 153
    Internet Explorer.



    Internet is a generic term referring to the connections around the world of computers.

    Explorer is a generic term for someone who goes around seeking out things.



    Word... Office...



    Seems like about the only words Microsoft could lay claim to are their corporate name and Visio.



    Oh... Kin and Zune. They could lay claim to those. Not sure why they would want to... but they could.
  • Reply 8 of 153
    sambansamban Posts: 171member
    I hope Mister Ball ... Mer knows how to debug the Windows code base as he might the last man standing.
  • Reply 9 of 153
    What a stupid article. You could pull a better written story from a grade school.



    The first half was ok. The second half (excluding the last paragraph) just bitched about WP7 and didn't even make sense.



    How about some references to previous cases (from Apple, Microsoft and others) of trademarks being rejected/accepted after being challenged as "too generic"? Put this story in context. Make it so that I actually learn something from reading it.



    As it stands I now have to track down the article on another site to get the real story.



    Ridiculous.









    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frogbat View Post


    they can call theirs winstore or the prog store... or how about app shop?



    AFAIK Microsoft's "app store" is called a "Marketplace" across most devices - Zune Marketplace, Xbox Marketpace, Windows Phone Marketplace and my favorite... "Games for Windows Marketplace" (try saying that five times fast!) The anomaly seems to be "Windows Store" which is where they sell applications.



    My guess is that they will call the Windows 8 "app store" the Windows Marketplace.



    That said, I'm not even sure why they would be against Apple trademarking "App Store" if they wouldn't be using that name. Maybe I would have a better idea if the OP had more interest in journalism than flaming.
  • Reply 10 of 153
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frogbat View Post


    normally i'd agree about too generic trademarks but in this case apple should win cos they were the ones to refer to installed software as apps and applications. on windows it's "programs" and generically it's software



    they can call theirs winstore or the prog store... or how about app shop?



    lol, "prog store", that is quite funny
  • Reply 11 of 153
    aeolianaeolian Posts: 189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    What a stupid article. You could pull a better written story from a grade school.



    The first half was ok. The second half (excluding the last paragraph) just bitched about WP7 and didn't even make sense.



    How about some references to previous cases (from Apple, Microsoft and others) of trademarks being rejected/accepted after being challenged as "too generic"? Put this story in context. Make it so that I actually learn something from reading it.



    As it stands I now have to track down the article on another site to get the real story.



    Ridiculous.



    I am just "T'd" off, about this whole thing.



    I would like to remind you of Mr. O.J. Simpson trying to "copywright" the term OJ. so he could cash in every time we bought O.range J.uice....



    Yea, no one thought of that before him.
  • Reply 12 of 153
    Is Windows trying to be a "pane" in the arse?

    We all can't come up and own great names like "Kin" and "Zune".



    Seems like everyone is trying to buy and own everything in site (like domain names)! Damn, Manhattan was bought for $24!



    I remember when Coke used to be Coca cola and tried to make a big stink about Pepsi which used to be Pepsi cola. Now it's simply "Coke" and "Pepsi" because cola was un-ownable. Legally, if you can't own "App Store", you definitely can own "Mac App Store" as long as you keep those three words together. The Court will say anyone can use "App Store" and we will see "PC App Store", "Windows App Store", "Google App Store", "Android App Store", "RIM App Store", "Sony App Store", and so on. Microsoft is making a big stink over nothing.
  • Reply 13 of 153
    The term App Store is already related immediately to Apple by the consumer, Microsoft should focus in making great products and stop fighting over this.
  • Reply 14 of 153
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post


    I would like to remind you of Mr. O.J. Simpson trying to "copywright" the term OJ. so he could cash in every time we bought O.range J.uice....



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bmovie View Post


    I remember when Coke used to be Coca cola and tried to make a big stink about Pepsi which used to be Pepsi cola. Now it's simply "Coke" and "Pepsi" because cola was un-ownable.



    All great points that would have been nice to see in the original article.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobycat View Post


    Seems like about the only words Microsoft could lay claim to are their corporate name and Visio.



    Microsoft acquired "Visio Corporation" in 2000!
  • Reply 15 of 153
    Yeah, well, they should have thought of it first then.
  • Reply 16 of 153
    aeolianaeolian Posts: 189member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bmovie View Post


    Is Windows trying to be a "pane" in the arse?

    We all can't come up and own great names like "Kin" and "Zune".



    Seems like everyone is trying to buy and own everything in site (like domain names)! Damn, Manhattan was bought for $24!



    I remember when Coke used to be Coca cola and tried to make a big stink about Pepsi which used to be Pepsi cola. Now it's simply "Coke" and "Pepsi" because cola was un-ownable. Legally, if you can't own "App Store", you definitely can own "Mac App Store" as long as you keep those three words together. The Court will say anyone can use "App Store" and we will see "PC App Store", "Windows App Store", "Google App Store", "Android App Store", "RIM App Store", "Sony App Store", and so on. Microsoft is making a big stink over nothing.



    You're right in so many ways, but why does some one who trademarked the term, just as the product existed have to take the fall...



    This is all so stupid...



    o.k. so apple can make a search engine called "Googles"... No trademark infringement there right? Cut a letter out... Paste one in...
  • Reply 17 of 153
    foobarfoobar Posts: 103member
    Yes, app is universally used for mobile applications ... NOW.

    But that's largely due to Apple's choice of the word. When Apple introduced it, it was just an abbreviation for "application". Today it has its own specific meaning.
  • Reply 18 of 153
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobycat View Post


    Internet Explorer.



    Internet is a generic term referring to the connections around the world of computers.

    Explorer is a generic term for someone who goes around seeking out things.



    Word... Office...



    Seems like about the only words Microsoft could lay claim to are their corporate name and Visio.



    Oh... Kin and Zune. They could lay claim to those. Not sure why they would want to... but they could.



    Face Book. Use either word in your social website, and Facebook will sue your ass.
  • Reply 19 of 153
    povilaspovilas Posts: 473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Yeah, well, they should have thought of it first then.



    That's the problem here A "me too" syndrome.
  • Reply 20 of 153
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobycat View Post


    Internet Explorer.



    Internet is a generic term referring to the connections around the world of computers..



    No, it is a specific term that refers to a specific public network. That's why you capitalize it when you talk about the Internet.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mobycat View Post


    Explorer is a generic term for someone who goes around seeking out things.



    Combining a specific and a generic can yield a trademarkable name. Internet Explorer. Hula Hoop. Power Mac. Intel Inside.



    The problem with "App Store" is that it is alleging that both terms are generics. While we've certainly all heard the dimunitive "app" as a replacement for "application" a lot more often since the iPhone, I wouldn't be at all certain that Apple could lay claim to inventing the usage. However, even then in some contexts I bet you could do it, if the combination itself was unique within a particular context. I think the problem is that the phrase "app store" is just as logical a generic description for what it is as it is a proper name for it. It's quite possible that even if it were called something else, if someone were to ask you to describe Apple's storefront for mobile applications, you might well think to refer to it as an "app store"-- again, presuming that "app" is common parlance for a mobile application.



    Kleenex can insist you refer to other facial tissues without using the term Kleenex, but I doubt Kleenex would be allowed to trademark Facial Tissues to prevent competitors from using that combination of words to describe their products.
Sign In or Register to comment.