MS challenges Apple's App Store trademark

Claims it shouldn't own "generic" term.

Microsoft has launched a legal attack on Apple, insisting the US Patent and Trademark Office denies it a trademark on the name 'App Store'.

According to Yahoo News, a motion filed by Microsoft this week asks for Apple's 2008 trademark application be refused "on the grounds that 'app store' is generic for retail store services featuring apps and unregistrable for ancillary services such as searching for and downloading apps from such stores."

Microsoft goes on to claim that the phrase is widely used as a general, non specific term for a software marketplace, "in the trade, by the general press, by consumers, by Apple's competitors and even by Apple's founder and CEO Steve Jobs."

It cites a recent interview Jobs gave in which he said, "In addition to Google's own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android."

"'App store' is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use," insisted Microsoft. "Competitors should be free to use 'app store' to identify their own stores and the services offered in connection with those stores."

The platform holder didn't specify whether it was looking to make use of the term. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 OS, which launched in October last year, currently refers to its 'app store' as Marketplace.

Apple is yet to respond to the filing.

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About the author

Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

US News Editor

Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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