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Microsoft fights Apple's App Store trademark in Europe

updated 06:35 pm EDT, Thu May 12, 2011

Microsoft takes App Store trademark dispute to EU

Microsoft chose Thursday to extend its challenge to Apple's App Store trademark to Europe by disputing the trademark with the EU Community Trade Mark bureau. The company wanted both "App Store" and "Appstore" ruled invalid as the two "both lack distinctiveness." Its argument was identical to that in the US and contended that both were too generic to be sustainable as trademarks.

"The undisputed facts establish that 'app store' means exactly what it says, a store offering apps," Microsoft said.

Along with attempts to refer to "app store" using outside examples and precedents, Microsoft has been focusing a key part of its attack on Apple's own use. The Windows Phone developer has previously observed that even Apple CEO Steve Jobs was using the term generically to refer to other mobile app shops. Microsoft's approach is common and based on the idea of genericide, or a brand identity being "killed" by everyday use to refer to any similar product.

Apple has usually argued that App Store was a deliberate play on its company name and insisted that most people associate the name with its store, not all mobile stores. The concept had been used before but didn't gain momentum until the App Store launched in July 2008 and everyday users, few of which had downloaded apps in the era of BlackBerry, PalmOS and Windows Mobile devices, became used to the concept.

Apple hasn't used its legal clout against every company using one of the two trademarks but did sue Amazon in the US over its use of "Appstore." [via AllThingsD]

by MacNN Staff



  1. imNat-imadouche

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Microsoft is right on this

    When people say 'App' I think Application NOT Apple. Get over yourself Apple

  1. tutorcat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    MicroSoft need a better way to spending their time

    I don't understand, Really... MicroSoft have billions $ in both R&D + Marketing. If Apple already use "App Store", I'm sure MicroSoft can come up with the name of their own.

    I think MicroSoft should stop messing with other people idea and focus on developing something of their own.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: Microsoft is right

    Yes, trolls like Apple and Facebook like to trademark everything and anything under the sun so they can file a lawsuit. Like Facebook trying to trademark "Face".

    And I too think of "Application" when App is mentioned. As they say, It is what it is.

    And Nat, You're a douche.


    - Sent from my Android Device.

  1. stevesnj

    Joined: Dec 1969


    too generic??

    App Store is too generic? This from a company that once proposed that the word 'Windows' be trademarked to them.

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