Microsoft Takes Legal Action Against Apple App Store Name

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Microsoft, who are struggling in the Smartphone market, has taken legal action in an effort to dismiss Apple’s trademark filing for the term App Store.The US software company who only have 5,000 Windows apps for their Smartphones vs 300,000 Apple iPhone Apps, claims the concept of an app store was “generic” and that any fame associated with its formal title was secondary. It pointed out that Apple’s own Steve Jobs used the term “app stores” as an unofficial term to refer to Android portals.

TechFlash said that Microsoft added that it and others had been forced to use other terms to avoid running foul of Apple’s trademark until it was settled. Microsoft has been referring to its Windows Phone 7 store as the Windows Phone Marketplace, while competitors such as BlackBerry App World and Palm App Catalog have made conspicuous changes to borrow but avoid completely copying Apple’s naming scheme.

Apple in a response (PDF) has mostly restated its position and insisted that even generic use of the term “app store” was a reference to its own iOS and now Mac shops. It had previously contended that there was also a play on words, as App Store often led people to think of Apple.

Microsoft’s ultimate purposes aren’t clear, but the established naming of its mobile store leaves it more likely to want the use of the generic term as a supplement rather than to try to rename its existing store. Many have suspected that Microsoft would want a Windows App Store to match the new Mac equivalent, but no substantial rumours have emerged so far that this would be the case.

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