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]