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January 12, 2011

IPhone -Microsoft Files Suit Over Apple for App Store Term


Apple has continuously been in the spotlight lately; most recently yesterday when it announced its partnership yesterday with Verizon (News - Alert) to carry the iPhone.

Today’s news, however, isn’t as positive, especially since it involves legal action against the communications giant. Microsoft has apparently filed a complaint against Apple (News - Alert) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office regarding Apple’s possession of the term “App Store.”

According to Information Week, Microsoft (News - Alert) claims that Apple’s attempt to claim exclusive rights to the "App Store" moniker should be voided. In its filing with the USPTO, Microsoft says "App Store" is too much an everyday term to be trademarked.

"'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," Microsoft states. And, leaving nothing to chance, the Windows vendor points out that, "'Store' is generic for the 'retail store services' for which Apple seeks registration, and indeed, Apple refers to its 'App Store' as a store."

Microsoft claims Apple should therefore not be allowed exclusive title to the "App Store" brand.

"The undisputed facts further show that 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."

According to the report, Microsoft is trying to dent Apple's iPhone (News - Alert)-led dominance of the smartphone market with the recent launch of its Windows Phone 7 operating system. Along with the phone OS, Microsoft introduced an "App Marketplace" where developers can hawk their Windows Phone (News - Alert) 7 applications to consumers.


Stefanie Mosca is a Web editor for TMCnet. Previously she worked as a freelance copy editor for Digital Surgeons LLC. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University and a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of New Haven. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

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