Apple loses appeal for 'App Store' trademark in Australia

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 50
    I have to agree with the ruling. Prohibiting App Store is like prohibiting Food Store or Shoe Store. However, "Apple's App Store" or similarly specific denominations should be protected.
  • Reply 22 of 50
    zozmanzozman Posts: 393member
    pmz wrote: »
    Right. How stupid and arrogant can people get. Apple made it so widely accepted that when they try to trademark it they are told no this is SO popular now that we stupidly think this a common term.

    No they didn't, applications have been nick named apps since at least the early 90s probably earlier.
    I don't mind apple getting the rights to the name, the modern known term app to the lay person is an application on your phone or tablet. Apple didn't coin the phrase though , I've always called applications apps for short.
  • Reply 23 of 50
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,273moderator
    Prohibiting App Store is like prohibiting Food Store or Shoe Store.

    Or Whole Foods Market:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_food
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Foods_Market

    Poor Sunflower and Sprouts Farmers Market had to get round their generality:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprouts_Farmers_Market
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_Farmers_Market

    All they did was sell whole foods in a market first and picked the name.

    There is a Shoe Company btw:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shoe_Company

    There seems to have been a software company registered at one point called The Software Shop:

    http://www.corporationwiki.com/p/j2rjn/the-software-shop-inc

    The term App Store or even The App Store were specific enough at the time they launched.

    It's important to distinguish between terms that come into popular usage and terms that competitors can use:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/kleenex-is-a-registered-trademark-and-other-appeals-to-journalists/380733/

    If you Google for 'the app store', Google's own Play Store is ranked highly. What's strange is if you put it in double quotes in the search, meaning the exact phrase, Google Play still comes up and yet that text doesn't seem to appear on the page.

    Apple's competitors are using the term to try and latch onto Apple's success. I think it doesn't make sense to give Apple exclusivity over it now but they should have back when it launched. Not many people use the term in their names so there's not really any confusion caused nor is there any harm being done to Apple.

    Apple owns the Apple Store trademark yet apples were common before they came along. The decisions made around these names will be for what is considered the best outcome for the overall industry. If Apple's business was being harmed by other people using 'app store', they'd probably be granted it.
  • Reply 24 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    I think this is a bad decision.



    No-one widely used the word 'app' before the App Store. Therefore, it should be a protected term in conjunction with the word 'Store'.



    Judges are too blinkered to protect words that start off unique, but through their popularity, become commonplace.



    I presume this same judge will allow anyone to start another search engine called Google, as it simply means search now. Can't imagine Google objecting.

     

    Sheesh, overreact much?  ;^)  I think I'll open something called the Foodstuffs Store, or a Milk Store -- or perhaps it's cutting off the beginning of the word that made it trademarkable? Auto[mobile] Store! Cloth[ing] Store! Foot[wear] Store! Time[piece] Store! Barb[er] Shop! Con[venience] Store!

     

    I'm happy there's a country with a good, reasonable alternative to the overly broad (imo, ob) swath of what's trademarkable in the US.  Is it really that big a deal to make Apple be a little more creative with their naming if they want protection?  Even "Apple App Store" is probably trademarkable.

     

    But then I think adding things to and keeping things in the public domain has the possibility of adding social value. Wild belief, I know.

  • Reply 25 of 50
    They should change it to "The Apple Software, Etc. Emporium for the People's Republic of Australia".
  • Reply 26 of 50
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post





    blah, blah, blah irrelevant rubbish.

     

    The trademark application was for "App Store", not "App".

     

    So you wasted all your time on those references for naught.

  • Reply 27 of 50
    ascii wrote: »
    Those other companies have settled on their names now. I don't think they will change to App Store even in jurisdictions where Apple can't trademark it.

    I'm not talking about someone else swooping in and changing their name to "App Store" in places where Apple lost the trademark.

    I'm saying Apple was stupid to give their app store a name like "App Store" in the first place.

    Would you build a grocery store and name it "Grocery Store" ?

    No. You'd name it "ASCII Foods" or something creative. :D
  • Reply 28 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,697member
    Marvin wrote: »
    Or Whole Foods Market:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_food
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Foods_Market

    Poor Sunflower and Sprouts Farmers Market had to get round their generality:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprouts_Farmers_Market
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_Farmers_Market

    All they did was sell whole foods in a market first and picked the name.

    There is a Shoe Company btw:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shoe_Company

    There seems to have been a software company registered at one point called The Software Shop:

    http://www.corporationwiki.com/p/j2rjn/the-software-shop-inc

    The term App Store or even The App Store were specific enough at the time they launched.

    It's important to distinguish between terms that come into popular usage and terms that competitors can use:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/kleenex-is-a-registered-trademark-and-other-appeals-to-journalists/380733/

    If you Google for 'the app store', Google's own Play Store is ranked highly. What's strange is if you put it in double quotes in the search, meaning the exact phrase, Google Play still comes up and yet that text doesn't seem to appear on the page.

    Apple's competitors are using the term to try and latch onto Apple's success. I think it doesn't make sense to give Apple exclusivity over it now but they should have back when it launched. Not many people use the term in their names so there's not really any confusion caused nor is there any harm being done to Apple.

    Apple owns the Apple Store trademark yet apples were common before they came along. The decisions made around these names will be for what is considered the best outcome for the overall industry. If Apple's business was being harmed by other people using 'app store', they'd probably be granted it.

    Excellent post!
  • Reply 29 of 50
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,697member
    zozman wrote: »
    No they didn't, applications have been nick named apps since at least the early 90s probably earlier.
    I don't mind apple getting the rights to the name, the modern known term app to the lay person is an application on your phone or tablet. Apple didn't coin the phrase though , I've always called applications apps for short.

    And you probably have always called shoes shoes ... care to complain about these guys?

    http://theshoecompany

    Marvin has explained this very well ...
  • Reply 30 of 50
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    I think this is a bad decision.



    No-one widely used the word 'app' before the App Store. Therefore, it should be a protected term in conjunction with the word 'Store'.



    Judges are too blinkered to protect words that start off unique, but through their popularity, become commonplace.



    I presume this same judge will allow anyone to start another search engine called Google, as it simply means search now. Can't imagine Google objecting.



    Actually, the judge was constrained by the law. You can read the judgment here. 

     

    http://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/single/2014/2014fca1304

     

    "I am prepared to accept that, as part of the launch of the iPhone 3G in Australia, Apple’s App Store aroused significant interest, manifested by persons undertaking inquiries on the Internet using app store as a search term. I am also prepared to accept that, within the relevant period, a number of persons – perhaps many persons – associated the idea of the App Store service with Apple. But this is far from saying that, at the filing date, Apple’s use of “App Store” had been such that the mark distinguished the designated services as being Apple’s services and not those, also, of other persons."

     

    That, in conjunction with the use of descriptive terms, which are not registrable, killed the application. Note my emphasis on 'filing date'. Basically, the judgment is saying something like:

     

    If you invent a product called a metal sandwich, which is, in fact, a metal sandwich, you can't trademark the term 'metal sandwich', because the term is essentially descriptive. There's a reason why descriptive terms can't be trademarked, because if you could, everyone would be a walking infringement.

     

    Your google example is poor and makes no sense. 

  • Reply 31 of 50
    djsherlydjsherly Posts: 1,031member
    Marvin wrote: »
    Or Whole Foods Market:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_food
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Foods_Market

    Poor Sunflower and Sprouts Farmers Market had to get round their generality:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprouts_Farmers_Market
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_Farmers_Market

    All they did was sell whole foods in a market first and picked the name.

    There is a Shoe Company btw:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shoe_Company

    There seems to have been a software company registered at one point called The Software Shop:

    http://www.corporationwiki.com/p/j2rjn/the-software-shop-inc

    The term App Store or even The App Store were specific enough at the time they launched.

    It's important to distinguish between terms that come into popular usage and terms that competitors can use:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/kleenex-is-a-registered-trademark-and-other-appeals-to-journalists/380733/

    If you Google for 'the app store', Google's own Play Store is ranked highly. What's strange is if you put it in double quotes in the search, meaning the exact phrase, Google Play still comes up and yet that text doesn't seem to appear on the page.

    Apple's competitors are using the term to try and latch onto Apple's success. I think it doesn't make sense to give Apple exclusivity over it now but they should have back when it launched. Not many people use the term in their names so there's not really any confusion caused nor is there any harm being done to Apple.

    Apple owns the Apple Store trademark yet apples were common before they came along. The decisions made around these names will be for what is considered the best outcome for the overall industry. If Apple's business was being harmed by other people using 'app store', they'd probably be granted it.

    Apple Store is unlikely to be problematic in Australia and Apple probably would have been given the mark. While Apple is a descriptive term, in the three categories in which Apple applied for the App Store mark, at least one of them it could be cogently argued that Apple is not descriptive. It would be if one were a green grocer, but Apple is not a green grocer. They already have Apple on its own as a mark. That has to tell you something.
  • Reply 32 of 50
    hill60 wrote: »
    The trademark application was for "App Store", not "App".

    So you wasted all your time on those references for naught.
    hill60 wrote: »
    The trademark application was for "App Store", not "App".

    So you wasted all your time on those references for naught.
    The argument was that no one used "app" before the iOS App Store came into existence, which I pretty handily disproved there. The fact is that "app" has been a generic term for an executable for some time, and that "app store" is too general of a term to trademark.

    The important point to note here is that it's not just me saying this, but also the court system, because Apple lost its case when they tried to trademark "app store", not only in Australia but also in the US when they tried to sue Amazon. It is, quite simply, generic and not trademarkable.
    And you probably have always called shoes shoes ... care to complain about these guys?

    http://theshoecompany

    Marvin has explained this very well ...
    They are perfectly free to name their business "The Shoe Company." What they are not able to do is prevent others from using "shoe company" in their names. As a result, there are lots of businesses that have "shoe company" in their names. Here are a few:

    Charleston Shoe Company
    Consolidated Shoe Company
    Red Wing Shoe Company
    The Left Shoe Company
    West Coast Shoe Company
    Brown Shoe Company
    DVS Shoe Company

    And that was only on the first page-and-a-half of Google search results. As you can see, if you believe "shoe company" is something that you can prevent other businesses from using, then The Shoe Company has a long (and probably fruitless) legal battle ahead of them.
  • Reply 33 of 50
    rufworkrufwork Posts: 130member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    They should change it to "The Apple Software, Etc. Emporium for the People's Republic of Australia".

     

    No dice. GameStop's got something too close to that one.  ;)

  • Reply 34 of 50
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    thetorrey wrote: »
    This is dumb.  Apple is the reason why "app store" is what it is today.


    Doesn't really matter though, the term is still used when discussing other mobile stores as well. I know when I tell someone about an app for Android, Windows, BB, etc, I always refer to it as the app store, regardless of platform, though I do add, Apple, Android or Windows in front of it. The term has defiantly become ambiguous. Those who just use Apple's store though understandably don't see it.
  • Reply 35 of 50
    zozmanzozman Posts: 393member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post





    And you probably have always called shoes shoes ... care to complain about these guys?



    http://theshoecompany



    Marvin has explained this very well ...

     

     

    Please don't be a douche. 

    I wasn't making a complaint, I don't complain in general, it was a statement, Marvin explains everything very well, doesn't mean i can't make a post...

  • Reply 36 of 50
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post



    I linked you to a whole plethora of instances of the word "app" being used casually prior to 2008. If you'd never heard "app" before, 

     

    your entire post is a strawman. he clearly said he'd never heard app used "in the context of mobile applications".

     

    your links about desktop apps are irrelevant.

  • Reply 37 of 50
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post



    My question has always been... why didn't Apple simply come up with a better name?



    Everyone else seemed to:



    Google Play Store (formerly Android Market)

    BlackBerry World

    Windows Phone Store (formerly Windows Phone Marketplace)

    Palm App Catalog

    Nokia Ovi Store

     

     

    if you think those names are better than App Store, then lets hope marketing isnt your day job.

  • Reply 38 of 50
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Durandal1707 View Post



    The argument was that no one used "app" before the iOS App Store came into existence, which I pretty handily disproved there. The fact is that "app" has been a generic term for an executable for some time, and that "app store" is too general of a term to trademark.

     

    what? no it wasnt! the post you replied to was by Slurpy and he said specifically:

     

    Quote:


    I'd never heard "app" before in the context of mobile applications until Apple first mentioned it.


     

    ...so stop bashing that strawman around. it's falling apart.

  • Reply 39 of 50
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    if you think those names are better than App Store, then lets hope marketing isnt your day job.

    Better? Maybe not.

    But those names might be easier to trademark... which is exactly what Apple is having trouble doing.

    I sure as hell wouldn't try to trademark a generic term like "app store" if that was my day job ;)


    I will revise my earlier question:

    Why didn't Apple simply come up with a different name?
  • Reply 40 of 50
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    your entire post is a strawman. he clearly said he'd never heard app used "in the context of mobile applications".
    Oh, really?

    "No-one widely used the word 'app' before the App Store. Therefore, it should be a protected term in conjunction with the word 'Store'. "

    "Indeed "app" as a word only became popular because of OSX and iPhone OS."

    "You may have a short memory and forgotten that, although not new, the term 'app' was barely used by the general public until after the introduction of the relevant app store on the iPhone."

    "It's true that app was a term used before, but it wasn't common at all. I'd say software was the most used, or program, then application after those 2."

    "True. I remember the mockery and ridicule when Apple first referred to them as "apps". Maybe it had been mentioned somewhere before, but I had never heard of it."
    your links about desktop apps are irrelevant.
    Not according to the courts of law, which have repeatedly determined in multiple jurisdictions that "app" has been a pre-existing generic term for long enough that "app store" cannot be trademarked. I mean, if you really want me to, I could go provide a bunch of examples that specifically apply to mobile apps, but it really doesn't matter; "app" has been a generic term for binary executable in computing in general, including mobile computing, and indeed has been around longer than mobile computing has existed.
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