Microsoft has pointed the finger and claimed that it’s unfair for Apple to trademark the phrase “App Store.” Microsoft claims that the term is too generic, and that other companies should be able to use the phrase for their own mobile marketplaces.

Apple has had enough of Microsoft’s wining, and has retaliated by calling out the generic nature of the term “Windows.” Bet you didn’t see that coming, Microsoft.

TechFlash reports,

“It’s the latest broadside in a battle over rights to one of the most commonly used phrases of the booming mobile world. Apple’s filing, submitted Monday night, asks the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reject Microsoft’s attempt to dismiss Apple’s “App Store” trademark application.”

Microsoft clearly wants to rain on Apple’s parade. Apple originally filed for the trademark on “App Store” to secure what they believe is their intellectual property. The App Store was created, named, and sensationalized by Apple. Does anyone remember any type of accesible mobile application storefront before the App Store? That’s because there wasn’t one.

So, why shouldn’t Apple be able to trademark the App Store? Microsoft believes that the term is too “generic” and that it should be, “in the public domain and free for all competitors to use.”

In a poignant and witty jab at its longtime rival, Apple responded to Microsoft’s complaint by calling out the obviously nonspecific nature of Microsoft’s staple term: Windows.

“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,” says Apple in the filing. “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.”

It’s ironic that Microsoft is complaining about the genericness of Apple’s “App Store” when this is a company that has the terms Marketplace, Office, and Windows trademarked.

Hopefully Microsoft will learn that it’s not cool to be a killjoy. It looks to be an uphill battle against Apple in this trademark debate.

Some could argue that Microsoft does have a point in all this. Do you get to trademark a broad term by simply being the first one to do so? Microsoft did manage to obtain their trademarks on several generic (although arguably metaphorical) terms. Trademarking the “App Store” could be seen as the equivalent of trademarking the term “hardware store.”

What do you think?

(You can read a more in-depth discussion of this issue on CrunchGear.)



  • fl0wingfire


    • Jon Garrett

      some F.Y.I for all you apple fan boys.

      the name iphone was NOT apple’s term. the first and original iphone was a phone made by Netgear back in 2004/2005.

      apple took them to court claiming that they should have use of the term “i” because of the ipod.

      unbelievably, a judge ruled in favor of apple. Netgear’s iphone was all set to go whereas the iphone from apple didn’t even exist.

      app store in this case should go to apple because of HOW they used it and how others INTEND to use it.

      besides, why the hell would the competition want to use the term app store anyway?

      • Mr Felix 4

        Netgear don’t make phones .. What are u talking about

      • Pirates Suck

        Another impoverished Apple-Hater. Simple, don’t buy their products (likely you can’t) and stay off sites and blogs that discuss Apple. Why don’t I ever see Apple trolls on Google sites or blogs? Oh!! Too busy enjoying their products. Get you a 99 cent Android and be happy my friend!!

  • Pam

    I’m going to trademark ‘Morning”. None of you are allowed to use the word Morning because it is mine. I said so first, and I use it every day when I say ‘God I hate Mornings’, or ‘Is it Morning already?’

  • Ahh, that Windows comment is absolute gold!

  • Steven

    You can tell apple’s writer has a higher level of education, than windows just by his sophisticated remark, you can just tell haha.

  • iPhoNerd

    I believe it should be a generic term, otherwise apple will trademark anything in the coming years including my ass. 🙂

    • Jon Garrett

      look behind you, they may have already !! lol.

      * I got a trademark on lol, lol.

  • Ernesto Castellanos

    Microsoft saves Apple with a $150 million investment August 6, 1997.
    -This is how they say thanks.

  • I hope this case ends up in front of a REAL, uncompromised judge that will not only declare that Apple’s “App Store” trademark is too generic, but will do the same with Microsoft’s “Marketplace,” “Office” and “Windows” trademarks as well.