Microsoft cites Amazon Appstore in continued opposition to Apple trademark

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Microsoft has fired the latest salvo in a legal dispute over Apple's "App Store" trademark, citing the launch of the Amazon Appstore as proof of a "competitive need" for generic use of the term.



The Redmond, Wash., software giant filed a legal reply on Tuesday rebutting Apple's arguments for the validity of its "App Store" trademark, as noted by GeekWire. In the filing, Microsoft cites the recently launched Amazon Appstore as evidence that the term is generic and vital to competitors.



According to Microsoft, the launch of the Amazon Appstore makes a total of 17 Apple competitors that use the term to promote their online storefronts. ?These uses, despite Apple?s continuing enforcement campaign, show beyond dispute that there is a competitive need for the term,? asserted Microsoft.



"Apple strains to keep ?App Store? for its exclusive use, even claiming that its online stores are not real stores, only metaphorical ones. But Apple cannot escape the hard truth: when people talk about competitors? stores, they call them ?app stores,?" the filing read, adding that Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself has referred to other application marketplaces generically as "app stores."



The filing asserts that Apple's own arguments, which include prior cases, press coverage and the aid of a linguistic expert, actually serve to further prove the genericness of the disputed mark. Microsoft has also employed its own linguistic expert, Dr. Ronald Butters, to counter Apple's claims.



Citing a case involving Greenliant Systems and its dismissed "nandrive" trademark, Microsoft shows that a term can be classified as generic with just a few articles and a dictionary entry. "It is not about counting articles that mention an applicant, but rather whether there is persuasive evidence that the term is used to name the genus of goods," the filing argued.



Microsoft first lodged its opposition to the trademark in January. Earlier this month, Apple fired back by arguing that the term "Windows" was generic but still granted to the company because it held "the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public." Microsoft responded by pointing out that Apple's brief was too long and used a font size that was too small.



Apple has sought to vigorously defend the "App Store" trademark in an effort to prevent genericization, which would invalidate the mark. Last week, the company sued Amazon in advance of the launch of the online retailer's Android application store.



The iPhone maker also sent a cease-and-desist letter to an Android-targeted pornography store billing itself as "the world's first app store for adults." Apple has maintained a strict no-pornography rule for the App Store. Jobs has said, "That's a place we don't want to go, so we're not going to."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 86
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,584member
    So 2 wrongs make a right in MSFT logic? Pathetic.
  • Reply 2 of 86
    rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    Yeah, well, the fact that people call tissues "Kleenex" doesn't mean the trademark is generic.

    Or maybe the fact that people use "windows" to describe viewports in an application means that "Windows" is generic, eh?
  • Reply 3 of 86
    replicantreplicant Posts: 121member
    In Canada we have The Beer Store. If Apple can prove precedence, they may have case (I think)
  • Reply 4 of 86
    mistergsfmistergsf Posts: 163member
    All I can say is that before the iPhone, I don't ever recall anyone using the words "App Store". Period!
  • Reply 5 of 86
    I like that each of the two sides has "employed their own linguistic experts" to back up their cases. Just call in Noam Chomsky and let him settle this once and for all.* And really for little to no reason whatsoever except that I would find it entertaining, find out what Slavoj Zizek might think about this as well. I know that calling for the opinions of professionals and academics in this area isn't as ludicrous as I might be pretending it is, but it is still funny to me.



    *But only if he sides with Apple, because for my own entertainment I really do want to watch every company [of the seventeen so far?] come up with their own names for their app stores/marketplaces/I'll-leave-it-up-to-them.
  • Reply 6 of 86
    I hate to say it, but I side with MS on this one. "App store" is a generic term referring to any front end store that offers applications, games, etc, to any operating system or device. It's not some magical or revolutionary phrase that Apple brought in to existence via the iPhone or iPad.



    Sadly, Apple is becoming, TO ME, everything I learned to hate about Microsoft. To make things worse, all this proprietary hardware is really annoying...
  • Reply 7 of 86
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Undecided View Post


    I like that each of the two sides has "employed their own linguistic experts" to back up their cases. Just call in Noam Chomsky and let him settle this once and for all.* And really for little to no reason whatsoever except that I would find it entertaining, find out what Slavoj Zizek might think about this as well. I know that calling for the opinions of professionals and academics in this area isn't as ludicrous as I might be pretending it is, but it is still funny to me.



    *But only if he sides with Apple, because for my own entertainment I really do want to watch every company [of the seventeen so far?] come up with their own names for their app stores/marketplaces/I'll-leave-it-up-to-them.



    Chomsky would side with the anarcho-syndicalist company.
  • Reply 8 of 86
    kozchriskozchris Posts: 209member
    If MS can have Windows then Apple should get App Store.
  • Reply 9 of 86
    bushman4bushman4 Posts: 797member
    'APP STORE' prior to Apples creation had never been used before in any commercial environment. Had it been a generic term or a common phrase a patent would not have been issued.

    As for Amazon, couldn't they have come up with they own unique phrase????
  • Reply 10 of 86
    frugalityfrugality Posts: 410member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BUSHMAN4 View Post


    'APP STORE' prior to Apples creation had never been used before in any commercial environment.



    It doesn't matter. The term 'App' to mean 'application' was around before Apple started using it.



    Apple was the first one to start using it en masse, but that doesn't mean that they can trademark it.



    'App' = application. It has nothing to do with Apple inherently.



    'Fail' on Apple's part. Though you can understand their desire to rule out the competition but not allowing them to use a common word. It's as if McDonalds could trademark the word 'Cheeseburger'. That would be a huge competitive advantage against the Burger Kings and Wendys out there. Or they patented the 'Drive Thru', and said that In-N-Out had to call it something else.
  • Reply 11 of 86
    alienzedalienzed Posts: 393member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post


    I hate to say it, but I side with MS on this one. "App store" is a generic term referring to any front end store that offers applications, games, etc, to any operating system or device. It's not some magical or revolutionary phrase that Apple brought in to existence via the iPhone or iPad.



    Sadly, Apple is becoming, TO ME, everything I learned to hate about Microsoft. To make things worse, all this proprietary hardware is really annoying...



    It's not proprietary hardware, you can buy hardware from any company, it's the software that is proprietary and that makes perfect sense to me. Apple wants to offer an experience, and if they allow their major software titles to be run on just any hardware, they won't have any sort of control over the experience.



    We all know that consumers only care if it works or if it doesn't and blame the result of that on the company with it's name on it. So if you could install Mac OS X on a DELL, people would complain to Apple if the computer didn't work well, because the operating system is the only part the consumer actually interacts with.
  • Reply 12 of 86
    bwikbwik Posts: 556member
    Competitive need has got nothing to do with it. People buy apps from, implicitly, a gettin' place -- a store. The word App is generic and has been for decades. App Store is generic today regardless of what happens temporarily in the courtroom. Apple may claim powers over the term, but its claims have no legal authority over the basic English language. In turn, trademark law steers away from generic nouns. The law itself is not the basic authority here -- the language is.
  • Reply 13 of 86
    rindrind Posts: 66member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frugality View Post


    It doesn't matter. The term 'App' to mean 'application' was around before Apple started using it.



    Apple was the first one to start using it en masse, but that doesn't mean that they can trademark it.



    'App' = application. It has nothing to do with Apple inherently.



    'Fail' on Apple's part. Though you can understand their desire to rule out the competition but not allowing them to use a common word. It's as if McDonalds could trademark the word 'Cheeseburger'. That would be a huge competitive advantage against the Burger Kings and Wendys out there. Or they patented the 'Drive Thru', and said that In-N-Out had to call it something else.



    So in your logic, We can create a new OS names Windows X and Microsoft cant do anything about it since the term had been around for a long time before MS.

    Amazon and MS both need to move on and pick a name.
  • Reply 14 of 86
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by frugality View Post


    It doesn't matter. The term 'App' to mean 'application' was around before Apple started using it.



    Apple was the first one to start using it en masse, but that doesn't mean that they can trademark it.



    'App' = application. It has nothing to do with Apple inherently.



    'Fail' on Apple's part. Though you can understand their desire to rule out the competition but not allowing them to use a common word. It's as if McDonalds could trademark the word 'Cheeseburger'. That would be a huge competitive advantage against the Burger Kings and Wendys out there. Or they patented the 'Drive Thru', and said that In-N-Out had to call it something else.



    PLEASE learn something about trademark law before embarrassing yourself further.



    Just because one part of the trademark has been used before doesn't mean that the entire mark isn't valid.



    People had Walls before and people had marts. So Wal-mart shouldn't be valid, right?



    People had stars before and people had bucks, so Starbucks shouldn't be valid, right?



    People used the word 'general' and people used the word 'motors', so General Motors isn't valid, right?



    Heck, even use the example you cited. There were burgers and kings, so "Burger King" shouldn't be valid, right?



    Please stop commenting on things you don't understand.
  • Reply 15 of 86
    jacksonsjacksons Posts: 244member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by replicant View Post


    In Canada we have The Beer Store. If Apple can prove precedence, they may have case (I think)



    Is it Trademarked? Doesn't matter because where the Beer Store is used (in Ontario) no one is allowed to open another beer store - so no one will get confused
  • Reply 16 of 86
    Quote:

    Microsoft responded by pointing out that Apple's brief was too long and used a font size that was too small.



    Really Microsoft? You have the world's most expensive lawyers at your disposal and you're rebuttal is "the font was too small"? Was "My dog ate it" not an option?



    I personally don't think "App Store" is overly-generic. It's the abbreviated form of the proper term "Application store." Is there a problem with using "App Shop" or "App Stop"? The name isn't what made Apple billions of dollars, it was the infrastructure and the management.
  • Reply 17 of 86
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,316member
    What's that sound? Oh yeah, it's that's crybaby Microsoft whining for not getting what they want like a spoiled brat. Either that or its the sound of their relevancy leaking out of their pompous, bloated waste of a company. Either way I don't care. Go litigate yourself into oblivion M$.
  • Reply 18 of 86
    bwikbwik Posts: 556member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    PLEASE learn something about trademark law before embarrassing yourself further.



    Just because one part of the trademark has been used before doesn't mean that the entire mark isn't valid.



    People had Walls before and people had marts. So Wal-mart shouldn't be valid, right?



    People had stars before and people had bucks, so Starbucks shouldn't be valid, right?



    People used the word 'general' and people used the word 'motors', so General Motors isn't valid, right?



    Heck, even use the example you cited. There were burgers and kings, so "Burger King" shouldn't be valid, right?



    Please stop commenting on things you don't understand.



    You probably can't trademark a generic word or business category. For example, "Dress Shop" Or, "Coffee Shop." Starbucks, of course is a very distinctive brand name.



    If Wal-Mart were a generic term in English, like "Drug Store," then absolutely, you couldn't trademark it. But, it's not. Can you begin to see the very subtle point here? Because you missed it before.
  • Reply 19 of 86
    Does ballmer yell out to it's wife "close the windows window" when it gets mighty chilly up in Redmond ?
  • Reply 20 of 86
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sofabutt View Post


    I hate to say it, but I side with MS on this one. "App store" is a generic term referring to any front end store that offers applications, games, etc, to any operating system or device. It's not some magical or revolutionary phrase that Apple brought in to existence via the iPhone or iPad.



    Sadly, Apple is becoming, TO ME, everything I learned to hate about Microsoft. To make things worse, all this proprietary hardware is really annoying...



    Have you used a windoze computer, if so, do remember all the "fun" you had with it.

    Apple is NOTHING like microshit, are you retarded ?
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