March 3, 2011 - In 2008, a week after launching the iPhone App Store, Apple applied for a trademark on the phrase "App Store" - and Microsoft is challenging the trademark registration, claiming that the mark is too generic. Microsoft's filing compares "App Store" to applications the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board rejected for being generic, such as "The Computer Store" and "Log Cabin Homes".
But Apple points out that many other companies offering apps for mobile devices have been able to use names other than the term "App Store" - such as BlackBerry's "App World". Microsoft itself uses the term "Marketplace".
Apple, for its part, points out that Microsoft is no stranger to fighting "genericness challenges".
"Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public," Apple says in its filing, which asks the USPTO to dismiss the challenge.