Microsoft says Apple can't trademark 'app store,' files dispute

Microsoft is challenging Apple's 2008 trademark application for "app store," reports said on Wednesday. The term, Microsoft contests, should be non-trademarkable, because, in short, an App Store is a generic term for a store that sells apps, not a proper name.

"The undisputed facts further show that the combined term 'app store' is commonly used in the trade, by the general press, by consumers, by Apple's competitors, and even by Apple's founder and CEO Steve Jobs as a generic name for online stores featuring apps," Microsoft's complaint with the Trademark Trial and Appeal board says. "A search of Westlaw's US ALL NEWS database found over 1,000 current articles using 'app store' as the generic name for stores featuring apps."

The complaint goes on to quote Steve Jobs in an interview where he said "There will be at least four app stores on Android which consumers must search through to find the app they want…"

Microsoft's opposition to Apple's trademark application is now pending at the Trademark Trial and Appeal board, with the ultimate goal of keeping "app store" free for everyone to use.

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