Apple to Microsoft: App Store is generic but Windows isn't?

By on March 3, 2011, 10:42 AM
Two months ago, Microsoft asked the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to reject Apple's application to trademark the term "App Store" because it is too generic. Cupertino has countered this by reminding Redmond that it successfully trademarked "Windows" a few decades ago.

Apple filed a Opposition/Response to Motion (PDF, courtesy of TechFlash) with the USPTO. Here's an excerpt of Apple's argument:

Microsoft now asks the Board to summarily eradicate Apple’s commercial rights in its APP STORE mark on the purported basis that APP STORE has become generic. 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.

If Microsoft managed to trademark Windows all those years ago, should Apple be allowed to trademark App Store?


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