App Store no more generic than Windows, Apple tells Microsoft

App Store
Apple is keen to hang on to the App Store name

Apple has hit back at Microsoft's bid to stop the company trademarking the term App Store, claiming that the term is no more generic than Windows.

Obviously peeved at having to name its own portal the Windows Phone App Marketplace, Microsoft filed a petition in January opining that App Store is a generic term and should not be trademarked.

Dismissing the claims, Apple says that if App Store, its name for the groundbreaking and phenomenally successful portal, is generic then so is the cherished Microsoft term Windows.

Apple's argument is that if App Store is exactly the same as something like 'super market' then surely Windows are just part of a house? An architectural term that can be used at will...

Genericness challenge

In a new filing to the Patent and Trademark Office, Apple wrote: "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.

"What it offers instead are out-of-context and misleading snippets of material printed by its outside counsel from the internet and allegations regarding how the public allegedly interprets the constituent parts of the term APP STORE, i.e., 'app' and 'store.'

"Recognizing the many issues of fact raised by its motion and trying to sidestep them, Microsoft also concocts the argument that all 'store' formative marks such as APP STORE should be per se generic.

"Microsoft's proofs, and its attempt to create a new genericness standard from whole cloth, do not warrant an award of summary judgment in Microsoft's favor."

App = Apple, too

Apple, of course, claims that App, as well as meaning application, is a derivative of Apple. From this rather obviously perspective you can understand Apple's protectiveness.

Why would it allow the term, widely associated with the phenomenal success of the app movement that Apple is completely responsible for, to also apply to a largely-failed, unattractive portals like the Windows App Marketplace.

Until the launch of Windows Phone 7, Windows Mobile apps were widely considered to be miles behind what the App Store was offering and arguably still are.

The feud rumbles on...

Source: Politico

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.