If 'App Store' trademark is generic, so is Microsoft's 'Windows,' Apple argues

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple has responded to Microsoft's complaint over a trademark filing for the term "App Store," with the iPhone maker calling out Microsoft's ownership of the name "Windows."



In its efforts to obtain a trademark for its App Store for iOS and Mac OS X, Apple has fired back at a complaint from Microsoft, according to TechFlash. Apple has argued with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that it is entitled to ownership of the App Store trademark in much the same way Microsoft is allowed to own "Windows" for its operating system.



"Having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed WINDOWS mark, Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public," Apple wrote.



"Yet, Microsoft, missing the forest for the trees, does not base its motion on a comprehensive evaluation of how the relevant public understands the term APP STORE as a whole."



Apple's comments come in response to Microsoft, which filed an objection to Apple's "App Store" trademark application in January. The Redmond, Wash., software giant has asked the USPTO to reject Apple's request on the grounds that the term "app store" is "generic for retail store services featuring apps and (is) unregistrable for ancillary services such as searching for and downloading apps from such stores."



"'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," Microsoft wrote. "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."



In its own response to the USPTO, Apple cited linguistics expert Robert Leonard who said the predominant usage of the term "App Store" is in reference to Apple's digital storefront. Apple also noted that Microsoft uses the term "Marketplace" for its own online store to avoid using the terms "app store."



The case will be decided by the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Apple first filed for the App Store trademark soon after the iOS digital storefront launched in 2008.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 151
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 485member
    Oh snap!
  • Reply 2 of 151
    Apple. the fruit. get it.
  • Reply 3 of 151
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,361member
    I knew that folks at Apple read AI.....
  • Reply 4 of 151
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,006member
    This reminds me of a similar situation many years ago during the height of the Palm Pilot craze when Microsoft got into hot water when they labeled a product called the "Palm PC" and tried to make the argument that it was in no way related to the Palm Pilot.



    They just keep repeating the same mistakes.
  • Reply 5 of 151
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    Microsoft can't make a phone. It can't even make a good software for a phone. Why is it fighting for "App Store"? To sell Windows? To sell Word?





    AS A NOTE: Microsoft just dumped Danger it paid $500 million for, and wasted hundreds of millions more on. Sidekick owners will lose their service effective March 31st, 2011.



    Steve Balmer is an idiot. No talent, only threatening and buying products he doesn't understand. When will the Board of Directors fire this moron?
  • Reply 6 of 151
    fergiejfergiej Posts: 3member
    MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.
  • Reply 7 of 151
    scotty321scotty321 Posts: 313member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post


    They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.



    Oh, puh-leeze. Nobody ever even used the term "App" until Apple popularized it. Windows users never even called their programs "applications" -- they always called them "Programs" or "Program Files". Even Apple themselves didn't use the word "App" until the iPhone came out. Apple invented this word and they deserve the right to use it... nobody else.



    Go, Apple!!
  • Reply 8 of 151
    patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post


    MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.



    You mean their Application Stores.
  • Reply 9 of 151
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post


    MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.



    So I could create and sell an OS called "______ Windows" as long as I didn't fill in the blank with Microsoft? I kind of doubt that.
  • Reply 10 of 151
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    Quote:

    The case will be DESIGNED(?????) by the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Apple first filed for the App Store trademark soon after the iOS digital storefront launched in 2008.



    One mistake a few times can be ignored, but if it happens too often.... it reflects on the writer and the publication.



    CGC
  • Reply 11 of 151
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by scotty321 View Post


    Apple invented this word and they deserve the right to use it... nobody else.



    Actually, they didn't. There are myriad documented uses of "app" before the iPhone. It's fine if you wish to defend their trademarking "App store," but let's not revise history simply to make a point, k?
  • Reply 12 of 151
    oxygenhoseoxygenhose Posts: 236member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post


    MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.



    Or Microsoft can call their store the "Application Store" and kick themselves for not being savvy enough to drop formalities, and push an abbreviation that's catchier.



    Google can do the same - the 'Android Application Store'. Bunch of crybabies. Apple does not need to share their branding ideas and marketing with these clowns.
  • Reply 13 of 151
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Good one.
  • Reply 14 of 151
    willgonzwillgonz Posts: 30member
    Microsoft already has a name for its store. It is Marketplace, even if they change the name to copy Apple it will still suck.

  • Reply 15 of 151
    sticknicksticknick Posts: 123member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post


    ?.. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.



    MS and Google don't use the phrase "App Store" and nobody on this planet associates the term App Store with either of them.



    There is the App Store which is clearly Apple and then there is the Windows Marketplace and the Andriod Market. In essence, MS should be whining awning Googles use of the term "market".



    Whatever.
  • Reply 16 of 151
    2 cents2 cents Posts: 307member
    Pawned! FTW
  • Reply 17 of 151
    stourquestourque Posts: 360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post


    So I could create and sell an OS called "______ Windows" as long as I didn't fill in the blank with Microsoft? I kind of doubt that.



    Don't give Google any ideas.
  • Reply 18 of 151
    luisdiasluisdias Posts: 277member
    This is just the nth reason why Copyright is silly.
  • Reply 19 of 151
    leonardleonard Posts: 528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Fergiej View Post


    MS has not ever trademarked the word windows. It HAS, however, trademarked "Microsoft Windows". Apple's argument is specious at best. If they want to TM "Apple App Store" or "iOS App Sore" and "Mac App Store" I can't imagine that this would be too problematic. They just want MS and Google to stop using the phrase App Store for their, well, app stores. Nonsense.



    According to registration # 2463526 or serial # 75879977 Microsoft owns WINDOWS, as well as a bunch of variations such as WINDOWS XP, WINDOWS ME, etc. I just looked it up in TESS.



    edit: Here's a cut and paste from my search



    94 75879977 2463526 WINDOWS TARR LIVE

    95 75811226 2729524 WINDOWS POWERED TARR DEAD

    96 75573286 2513051 WINDOWS TARR DEAD

    97 75982727 2640353 WINDOWS XP TARR LIVE

    98 75982782 2640357 WINDOWS XP TARR LIVE

    99 75517786 2635678 WINDOWS MEDIA TARR LIVE

    100 75888922 2559770 WINDOWS ME TARR LIVE
  • Reply 20 of 151
    luisdiasluisdias Posts: 277member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sticknick View Post


    MS and Google don't use the phrase "App Store" and nobody on this planet associates the term App Store with either of them.



    There is the App Store which is clearly Apple and then there is the Windows Marketplace and the Andriod Market. In essence, MS should be whining awning Googles use of the term "market".



    Whatever.



    I mean wow. Now a company can't use a name like "market" for their own market of applications? In no time no other company can't even build a market, for they will end out of words to use! This is outrageously ridiculous, to buy off the dictionary like this. We, as a species, are insane.
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