Microsoft challenges Apple’s App Store trademark

Microsoft is taking legal action in a bid to stop Apple trademarking its App Store brand.

Microsoft challenges Apple's App Store trademark

Microsoft has filed a complaint with the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, saying “app store” is a generic term. Because of Apple’s claim to the words, rivals have tended to stick with terms such as “marketplace” instead.

It said in its filing: “The undisputed evidence shows that ‘app store’ is a generic name for a store offering apps.”

It added: “The combined term ‘app store’ is commonly used in the trade, by the general press, by consumers, by Apple’s competitors and even by Apple’s founder and CEO Steve Jobs, as the generic name for online stores featuring apps.”

Microsoft went on to quote Jobs repeatedly using the term “app stores” to complain to the media about the proliferation of Android stores and in press releases from his own company.

It’s now down to the trademark board to decide whether Apple’s application is approved.

“App store is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use,” the filing continued. “Competitors should be free to use ‘app store’ to identify their own stores and the services offered in connection with those stores.”

Whether that means Microsoft is looking to change the name of the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace remains to be seen.

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