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Microsoft and Apple fight over ‘app store’ name

Apple have been trying to trademark the term ‘App Store’ for a while now, but Microsoft aren’t having it. The Redmond operating system giant have said that the ‘App store’ name is too generic to trademark, but Apple see things in a totally different way.

Apple’s counsel have written a whopping 62 page filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office and in it they say “Having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed WINDOWS mark, Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public.

“Yet, Microsoft, missing the forest for the trees, does not base its motion on a comprehensive evaluation of how the relevant public understands the term APP STORE as a whole.”

Microsoft are claiming that both ‘App’ and ‘store’ are generic words and should not be trademarked, which they claim is based on ‘undisputed facts’.

Apple have replied to this saying “The Fact That Mainstream Dictionaries Do Not Have a Definition for the Term APP STORE Supports a Finding that the Term is Not Generic.”

Microsoft have countered this claim by saying that the press have used the term ‘app store’ as a generic term to describe many other application stores, outside the terms of Apple’s own store.

Apple yet again have an answer to this, saying “What is missing from Microsoft’s submission is any evidence, expert or otherwise, regarding whether such uses represent a majority of the uses of the term or simply a small, inconsequential subset of how the relevant public uses the term APP STORE.”

Dr. Robert Leonard

Apple’s legal team aren’t resting on their laurels either, as the Cupertino hardware company have enlisted the help of Dr. Robert Leonard, a ‘renowned linguistics expert’ who has analysed references to ‘APP STORE’ appearing in the Corpus of Contemporary American English, an online collection of over 410 million words of popular texts.

Leonard has found that ’88 percent of the reference to APP STORE in that database constitute references to Apple’s APP STORE service.”

KitGuru says: We are really interested to see how this plays out. Who will be the victor?

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