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Microsoft challenges Apple's App Store trademark

updated 08:00 am EST, Wed January 12, 2011

Microsoft says App Store trademark too generic

Microsoft has filed a formal motion (PDF) for a summary judgment to dismiss Apple's trademark filing for the term App Store. The Windows developer claimed the concept of an app store was "generic" and that any fame associated with its formal title was secondary. It pointed out that Apple's own Steve Jobs used the term "app stores" as an unofficial term to refer to Android portals.

The company added that it and others had been forced to use other terms to avoid running afoul of Apple's trademark until it was settled. Microsoft has been referring to its Windows Phone 7 store as the Windows Phone Marketplace, while competitors such as BlackBerry App World and Palm App Catalog have made conspicuous changes to borrow but avoid completely copying Apple's naming scheme.

Apple in a response (PDF) has mostly restated its position and insisted that even generic use of the term "app store" was a reference to its own iOS and now Mac shops. It had previously contended that there was also a play on words, as App Store often led people to think of Apple.

Microsoft's ultimate purposes aren't clear, but the established naming of its mobile store leave it more likely to want the use of the generic term as a supplement rather than to try to rename its existing store. Many have suspected that Microsoft would want a Windows App Store to match the new Mac equivalent, but no substantial rumors have merged so far that this would be the case. [via TechFlash]

By Electronista Staff


  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999


    When old fashioned Copying isn't good enough...

    Call in the lawyers and sue.

    This is yet another sign of Microsoft slowly circling the bowl.

  1. MadGoat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2008


    comment title

    I suppose that we can't blame them. I mean a company that trademarked such a word as windows doesn't like it when others use slightly less common words.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    MS Should Present The Idea ... one of their retail stores. Perhaps even take it to their Genius Bar ... er ... I mean Answer Bar or Guru Bar or Wizard Bar or Whiz Bar or whatever they decided to call this copy within a copy.

    Apple should immediately rename Pages to be Apple Word.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Clarence

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    In other news

    Apple now has a trademark on the letter i.

  1. MacnnReader

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010


    Isn't this the same company that

    successfully sued the linux company because it's product Lindows sounded too much like Windows? Yes, it is. It's also the same company who sued a man named MIke Rowe because his website mikerowesoft violated their trademark... yea, that be them...

  1. davesmall

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2006


    They don't know what else to do

    Copy everything Apple does. That's what they do. That's what they've always done. Might as well copy the name of the online store too.

  1. Cronocide

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2010


    If MS succeeds...

    It'll be another Microsoft "firsts". Microsoft puts out the "first" OS, they put out the "first" mobile phone platform, they came out with the "first" App Store...

    That's enough to make a fanboy's blood boil.

  1. c. haynes

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2002



    Microsoft... yeah, "It tolls for thee." heh, heh, heh.

  1. freddymac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2010


    Hey M$

    Get over it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    I really don't understand how this affects

    Microsoft in any way when they can use lots of other names to promote their own applications store. They could call theirs the applet store, the widget store or something like that. It just seems like there would be plenty of words that could be substituted for "app store". I probably don't understand fully what Microsoft is upset about so I don't see the big deal in what Apple is doing. Yeah, if the term "Windows" is allowed to be trademarked, then why not trademark "app store".

    BlackBerry App World and Windows Phone Marketplace seem like very attractive terms to use so I honestly don't see why Microsoft is peeved.

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