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Microsoft Battles Apple for App Store Trademark

By - Source: Techflash | B 39 comments

There are claims that Apple should not be able to hold the trademark rights to "App Store" since this phrase has become a generic term.

The objections have been filed by a company that owns the trademark "Windows".   

In a 27-page filing Microsoft argues that "'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" and that 'Store' is generic for the 'retail store services' for which Apple seeks registration." Since the App Store is in fact a store, the complaint is well-founded, Microsoft said. We have no idea what the final decision on this matter will be and it may all depend on the weather and the mood of a judge to be victorious in this battle.

However, since we know that you can patent virtual everything in this country, and companies have become so bold that they are even trying to patent the essential idea of holding a patent we would not be too surprised if Apple in fact could get the trademark confirmed. It almost sounds silly if a company claims that a certain claim in a trademark or patent is generic. Was it Microsoft that patented the OS shutdown last year?  

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  • 15 Hide
    Camikazi , January 14, 2011 6:38 PM
    tburns1Doesn't Microsoft trademark "Windows"?I look outside every day.

    Windows is not a generic term for an Operating System, App Store is about as generic as you can get when referring to a store that sells apps...

    When you say Windows when talking about computers you are talking about the Microsoft product, when you say App Store when talking about computers it could mean Amazon App Store, Apple App Store, Google Market, Cydia, or any of the many other stores that sells apps, that is the difference.

    Apple is trying to trademark a highly generic term to stop other companies from using the same generic and widely used term. If Microsoft were to try to trademark "Operating System" then you would have the same situation happening.
Other Comments
  • -1 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , January 14, 2011 6:30 PM
    Patents and Trademarks are very important, no doubt.

    It's the freaking lawyers that do this crap.
  • -3 Hide
    tburns1 , January 14, 2011 6:31 PM
    Doesn't Microsoft trademark "Windows"?

    I look outside every day.
  • 0 Hide
    Parrdacc , January 14, 2011 6:32 PM
    anyone else basically about to "OD" on all these lawsuits? Just reading this made my head hurt.
  • 15 Hide
    Camikazi , January 14, 2011 6:38 PM
    tburns1Doesn't Microsoft trademark "Windows"?I look outside every day.

    Windows is not a generic term for an Operating System, App Store is about as generic as you can get when referring to a store that sells apps...

    When you say Windows when talking about computers you are talking about the Microsoft product, when you say App Store when talking about computers it could mean Amazon App Store, Apple App Store, Google Market, Cydia, or any of the many other stores that sells apps, that is the difference.

    Apple is trying to trademark a highly generic term to stop other companies from using the same generic and widely used term. If Microsoft were to try to trademark "Operating System" then you would have the same situation happening.
  • -3 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , January 14, 2011 6:42 PM
    @Camikazi "Shutdown" is about as generic as you can get, too.
  • 2 Hide
    tical2399 , January 14, 2011 6:42 PM
    Considering app is just short for application and many people in tech circles have been calling software programs apps for years the term shouldn't be trade marked.
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , January 14, 2011 6:52 PM
    LuckyDucky7@Camikazi "Shutdown" is about as generic as you can get, too.

    Not what we are talking about and that one would be about as bad to trademark as app store although not as bad since they can make a distinction between Shut-down and shutdown to trademark one.
  • 8 Hide
    injected_metal , January 14, 2011 6:59 PM
    @LuckyDucky7
    Microsoft didn't get a trademark on the term "Shut Down" they patented a process of how an OS should respond to a command to shut down. A list of steps breaking down the operation of a piece of software isn't as generic as commonly used words.
  • 6 Hide
    thedreadfather , January 14, 2011 7:47 PM
    Quote:
    The objections have been filed by a company that owns the trademark "Windows"

    No, they absolutely do not. Microsoft has a trademark on "Microsoft Windows," completely different from just "windows".

    Way to take a completely unnecessary snipe at Microsoft there.
  • 0 Hide
    zubikov , January 14, 2011 7:47 PM
    CamikaziWindows is not a generic term for an Operating System, App Store is about as generic as you can get when referring to a store that sells apps...


    Windows - A resource manager using windows
    App Store - A store that sells apps

    This whole concept is very very subjective. You can make a good argument, so can I. Same goes for the Apple v MSFT lawyers.

    The more important point here is to recognize how hypocritical MSFT is acting. It's also disgusting to watch when MSFT blatantly copies the hottest competitor in every segment of every market. It's like watching a rich kid w/ no friends trying to fit in while being hated by everyone.

    I'm not saying I hate their products; some of their stuff is great. I just hate their complacent management with no passion or desire to push forward. Instead of inventing a new concept that supercedes the "App Store", their management chooses to sue. That is the new face of Microsoft.
  • 0 Hide
    Niva , January 14, 2011 7:50 PM
    This is trademark, not patent.

    I think App-le can make a legitimate case for such a trademark as much as it pains me.

  • 1 Hide
    Camikazi , January 14, 2011 8:11 PM
    zubikovWindows - A resource manager using windowsApp Store - A store that sells apps

    Windows - A resource manager using windows made my Microsoft

    Windows is a name specific to MS, a window is generic to resource manager, but the term Windows when used to talk about an OS is specific to MS, that little "s" at the end of the word makes a HUGE difference. It changes it from a generic term for a part of the OS to a name specific to a program made by MS. It is not the same as the phrase App Store since it is not and has never been specific to Apple, Apple App Store, Apple Store, iPhone Store or even Jobs' Store would work since they are specific terms that are unique to Apple.
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , January 14, 2011 8:14 PM
    thedreadfatherNo, they absolutely do not. Microsoft has a trademark on "Microsoft Windows," completely different from just "windows". Way to take a completely unnecessary snipe at Microsoft there.

    No they do own the trademark on the word Windows when used to describe the OS created by Microsoft.
  • 1 Hide
    2real , January 14, 2011 8:25 PM
    Apple has no case here. iPeople need to take off their blinders
  • -4 Hide
    themassacre , January 14, 2011 8:32 PM
    this is just retarded, if microsoft had trademarked it first, nobody would give a crap. its only mircosoft that sues over this stuff because they cant think of it for themselves.

    apple trademarked the title appstore, not the term. you can still call the blackberry's one, or the droids "your appstore" they just cant name it that.

    god, whats next, microsoft suing because apple's operating system is called "OSX"?

    its already bad enough microsoft badmouths things that make no sense, like droid phones having a "real" keyboard, they dont have to sue over dumb shit like this.
  • -5 Hide
    themassacre , January 14, 2011 8:34 PM
    CamikaziNo they do own the trademark on the word Windows when used to describe the OS created by Microsoft.

    did it ever occor to you that "app" could stand for "apple", just like "bs" stands for "microsoft"
  • 1 Hide
    hellwig , January 14, 2011 8:41 PM
    CamikaziWindows is not a generic term for an Operating System, App Store is about as generic as you can get when referring to a store that sells apps...When you say Windows when talking about computers you are talking about the Microsoft product, when you say App Store when talking about computers it could mean Amazon App Store, Apple App Store, Google Market, Cydia, or any of the many other stores that sells apps, that is the difference. Apple is trying to trademark a highly generic term to stop other companies from using the same generic and widely used term. If Microsoft were to try to trademark "Operating System" then you would have the same situation happening.

    Good explanation. I don't think Microsoft has ever sued a store that sells physical windows, e.g. Joe's Windows. They did sue Lindows, but they were making an OS.

    However, Microsoft also trademarked Microsoft Office, which is an "office productivity suite". But then products like OpenOffice and StarOffice seem to still exists, so maybe Microsoft isn't so batcrap insane over their trademarks. I mean, Apple sued a school because the school used an apple in their logo (apparently Apple owns all fruit, even though they stole their own Apple logo from Apple Music, owned by the Beatles).

    Anywho, I like any lawsuit that will prevent one company from trademarking/patenting something completely obvious on non-original as "App Store". The term "application" has been around forever.
  • 5 Hide
    2real , January 14, 2011 8:47 PM
    themassacredid it ever occor to you that "app" could stand for "apple", just like "bs" stands for "microsoft"

    apple should trademark apphole because everyone that uses apple products are pretty much assholes
  • 0 Hide
    bv90andy , January 14, 2011 8:58 PM
    What if instead of iTunes Apple had patented "Music Store"?
    LuckyDucky7@Camikazi "Shutdown" is about as generic as you can get, too.

    they patented the act of asking the user what to do when applications don't close, not the name. BUt still, that is really stupid too
  • -1 Hide
    poseidon2112 , January 14, 2011 9:30 PM
    This coming from the company who took legal action because a kid named Mike Rowe had a website at www.mikerowesoft.com which M$ claimed violated their trademark because it was a homonym.
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