Microsoft has asked the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to reject Apple's application to trademark the term "App Store" because it is too generic. Apple applied for the trademark in 2008. Today, Cupertino uses the term to refer to stores for apps that can be downloaded for the iPhone, iPad, iPod, and most recently, the Mac.
Microsoft's 27-page filing, obtained by TechFlash, has the following reasoning for Redmond's attack:
Microsoft opposes Apple's Application Serial No. 77/525433 for APP STORE on the grounds that 'app store' is generic for retail store services featuring apps and unregistrable for ancillary services such as searching for and downloading apps from such stores. Microsoft moves for summary judgment refusing registration of APP STORE. The following undisputed facts establish that 'app store' is generic for retail store services featuring apps:
- "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.
- "Store" is generic for the “retail store services” for which Apple seeks registration, and indeed, Apple refers to its “App Store” as a store
It's odd that Microsoft has filed papers now, more than a year after the USPTO opened up Apple's original application. That being said, it's likely that after Apple announced the Mac App Store, Microsoft decided enough was enough.