Apple hits back in "App Store" trademark row

appstore

Apple says Windows developer Microsoft is in no position to throw stones

Apple has hit back at Microsoft in the ongoing legal argument over whether the term App Store is generic or can be trademarked.

Microsoft claimed in arguments to the US Patent and Trademark Office that “App Store” was too widely used for a shop selling apps to be claimed by Apple, which first used the term for its online shop more than two years ago.

Apple, however, has accused Microsoft of stretching the truth with “confused and misleading” arguments, adding that the company that has traded on its “Windows” trademark for years was in no position to argue over “genericness”.

“What it offers... are out-of-context and misleading snippets of material printed by its outside counsel from the internet and allegations regarding how the public allegedly interprets the constituent parts of the term 'App Store',” Apple said in a submission to the patents office.

“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.”

According to Apple, the fact that software vendors – Android with its Market, RIM with its App World and Microsoft with its Marketplace – are all able to offer stores selling apps without using the “App Store” term shows that there is no need to keep the term open for general use.

Microsoft, however, argues that all these services are merely examples of "app stores".

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