Microsoft files objection to Apple’s ‘App Store’ trademark

“Microsoft is asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny Apple a trademark on the name ‘App Store,’ saying the term is generic and competitors should be able to use it,” Stephen Lawson reports for IDG News.

“Apple applied for the trademark in 2008 for goods and services including ‘retail store services featuring computer software provided via the internet and other computer and electronic communication networks’ and other related offerings,” Lawson reports. “Apple launched its App Store for the iPhone that year along with its iPhone 3G. The store is now available on any device that runs the company’s iOS software, namely the iPod Touch and iPad, and Apple introduced its Mac App Store earlier this month.”

Lawson reports, “On Tuesday, Microsoft filed a motion for summary judgment with the agency’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, asking it to deny the trademark to Apple… Microsoft also said consumers and the trade and general media use “app store” generically to mean online stores where applications are sold.”

MacDailyNews Take: They also use “iPod” to refer to just about any portable media player. “iPod” is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Next argument.

Lawson reports, “Apple’s online store represented a new idea for mobile software shopping when it was launched and quickly became a big success, emulated by many other handset makers and some mobile operators.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft. Fixated on a rivet while being run over by a freight train’s caboose.


  1. Aren’t Apps known as Programs on Windows?

    For as long as I can remember, Apps are for Apples, Programs are for Windows.

    But then I suppose ‘Program Store’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

  2. There are many words that are used as generic terms. Band-Aid, Frisbee, Rollerblades, Velcro, Levis, etc. MS just needs to let this go. Call your “app store” something else and people will still refer to it as an app store.

  3. In this case Microsoft is correct ” App store ” is a generic term and to MDN iPod is not used as a reference to generic music devices but only to Apple devices so if you are going to make an argument choose a better example. If you know any type of legal jargon you know you can’t trademark or copyright generic widely used words like a poster said in the first post you can’t trademark “Bookstore” and or “Grocery Store”.

  4. Dear Microsoft:

    Fantastic idea! We’re all behind you, please lead the way to enlightenment, by immediately putting a stop to as well as dropping any trademark holdings on all the generic everyday words you currently employ/misuse beginning with:

    Windows, Word, Entourage, ‘Internet’ ‘Explorer’, ‘Windows Explorer’, Outlook, Start, Trash Can, Kin etc.

    Did you know, you are the company responsible for unleashing the word ‘scalable’ unto the world? Like the world is craving for more tech jargon, surely you can once again start pumping out great words like Zune etc into our collective unconscious.

    Yours sincerely…

  5. why does this dipstick have to file a complaint, why not just call his idiotic store wp7 store or ballmer store.

    google went with marketplace (shite i know but its still different, that actually made me puke agreeing with that stealing company)

    on another note why is apple allowing samsung to blantenly copy the iphone i state this because out of all the copy cats HTC in particular the galaxy S is exactly similar as the iphone (except that is exactly shite in performance and design)

  6. @Jacob626
    As was pointed out by Jamie, until the release of apps and the app store for the iPhone what did Windows users call apps?
    Windows = Programs
    Mac = Applications (or Apps)
    It has been this way since the beginning. So while you can have a grocery store that sells generic products that are ubiquitous you can’t have an App Store that sells programs, and app store sells “apps” and that means iOS or Mac.

  7. I am not a legal expert but recalling on my legal classes back in the university, Microsoft does have a case – App Store is a too generic. Generally it is very difficult, if not impossible to get a trademarks for “common phrase”. This is not to justify Microsoft in any way. Their lack of originality is just stunning –not only they (and Google, Palm, etc) copied Apple App store concept but it looks like now they even want to copy name as well.

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