Microsoft Hires Linguist to Oppose Apple's 'App Store' Trademark

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    CNET reports that Microsoft has filed yet another document (PDF) in its case opposing Apple's application for a trademark on the term "App Store", moving beyond its earlier effort involving complaining about Apple's font size to bring in a linguist to counter Apple's own expert in debating the genericness of the term.
    The filing also points to Amazon's just-introduced Appstore for Android as yet another example of the term being generic. Apple noted in a prior filing that it had moved to protect its trademark by reaching out to companies it believed was using the "App Store" name improperly, but Microsoft argues that the simple fact that those companies were using the term in the first place indicates that the term is generic.

    Article Link: Microsoft Hires Linguist to Oppose Apple's 'App Store' Trademark
  2. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2009
    i love when big companies publicly fight like this. Dont really care about the actual issue, but the details are so interesting. The lawyers basically make it look like children are fighting.
  3. BeyondtheTech macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2007
    They hire lawyers. They hire linguists. They hire PR agents. They hire advertising companies. They hire survey companies. All that money and they still don't know that they should invest in doing some real research and development, and innovation instead. Brings me back to that old, tried but true, Apple commercial from the "Get a Mac" campaign...
  4. Popeye206 macrumors 68040


    Sep 6, 2007
    Let the "App" battle begin!

    And all the lawyers rejoiced. :rolleyes:
  5. Mr_Ed macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    North and east of Mickeyland
    I don't claim to know a thing about trademark law, but looking at this simply I find it difficult to understand how the term "Windows" can become a trademark but "App Store" cannot.
  6. elgrecomac macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    San Diego
    To quote 'M' in the James Bond movie

    He will need to be a 'cunning linguist' to assist Microsoft.

  7. arkitect, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2011

    arkitect macrumors 601


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    I still do not see how or why Apple should be awarded App Store™.

    Ah well someone had to go there I guess. ;)
  8. dscuber9000 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2007
    Indiana, US
  9. Mr_Ed macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    North and east of Mickeyland
    LOL! Good catch! :D
  10. ryanw macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2003
    Windows, Um really?

    By that argument, aren't windows and office generic terms???
  11. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    App may be generic, but does that also make App Store generic ?
  12. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    It goes to show you what our legal system really is like. Kind of goes to show you that much of our legal system is nothing more than expensive babies fighting. Also goes to show you why our government is such a mess because guess what most of our political leaders are........ You guessed it LAWYERS. This is pretty much a world wide thing.
  13. asdf542 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2010
    I could go for some linguini right about now.
  14. Menge macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2008
    Disclaimer: Apple fanboy here. But agree with Microsoft.

    App Store is simply the description of the actual thing: An app store. It's just too simple.

    Windows on the other hand is a name that wouldn't be used to describe an operating system. Windows, much like Pages, Keynote and Numbers, is a noun used creatively to create a trademark. App Store is a close second but, IMO, fails due to being the actual description of the object.

    If Microsoft had called Windows simply "Operating System" and copyrighted that, THEN it'd be the same thing :p
  15. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    (I feel dirty defending Microsoft, but...)

    Microsoft aren't selling windows called Windows, they're selling an OS called Windows. It is a generic phrase, but it's not a generic phrase for the object it describes. App Store is (to me at least!) a generic phrase for an application store.
  16. raymondthimmes macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    Honestly the term "app" didn't even exist 5 years ago. And yeah, it's super generic.

    I support microsoft on this one, guys.
  17. zacman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    Office and Windows are/were generic words OUTSIDE of the computer industry (like Apple). But app(lication) store is a generic word INSIDE of the computer industry and that the big legal difference here.
  18. BC2009 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    Agreed.... Macs had windows long before PC's had "Windows". I think that if one can be a trademark then the other surely can. Personally, I think that if there were no such precedence, then neither should be allowed as a trademark. But terms like this have been allowed as trademarks for quite some time. Microsoft should just drop it -- what is their vested interest here anyway? There are a thousand things they can call their application store.
  19. braddouglass macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2011

    Microsoft.. You're stooping to a low level. If they have a patent they have the right to uphold it the word "APP" was NEVER used, until the app store for iOS devices. So to me, Microsoft is just upset and stomping around all angry because they're constantly steps behind. Stop crying Bill, Steve has you beat.
  20. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Yes, it did.
  21. BC2009 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    Like I just said.... Mac's had windows (and they called them that) before PC's had "Windows". Mac OS has used windows and trash and all that drag-and-drop and double-click-a-file goodness long before any DOS PC had it. Xerox invented it, sold it to Apple, and Apple used it in the Mac.

    "Windows" was a generic term in the computer industry before Microsoft had any trademark.

    EDIT: I still think neither should be allowed, but given the precedents out there I would give Apple the "App Store" trademark. Certainly MS is the pot calling the kettle black here. Considering their windows-based operating system is called "Windows" and their Office productivity suite is called "Office". These guys should all have to come up with better names for their stuff if they want a trademark. Like.... why not just stick an "i" in front of it? iApp Store (see how easy that was).
  22. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I think it is all those commercials that has made M$ say "Let's dump as much $$ at making whatever we can difficult for Steve & Co."
  23. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    Microsoft gives no trademark trouble to other windowing systems, even X Window (which already existed before).

    Microsoft gives no trademark trouble to OpenOffice, NeoOffice, and so on.
  24. zacman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    App has been used as short for application since the early 80s IIRC. It even has been in Dr. Peter Knittel's famous "how to translate Amiga software" correctly from English into German back then ("App(lication) = Programm").
  25. rotobadger macrumors 65816


    Sep 18, 2007
    Microsoft is suing homebuilders for offering "Windows" in their homes. Instead, they need to refer to them as "transparent viewing portals".

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