Microsoft has challenged Apple's attempt to trademark the term 'app store', claiming the phrase has become generic.
Apple's iOS application repository has, since its 2008 launch, coinciding with the release of the iPhone 3G, been called the App Store. However, Microsoft argued in a filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Monday, both 'app' and 'store' are now generic terms, as evidenced by their dictionary definitions.
"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 [Microsoft's italics], as the generic name for online stores featuring apps," the filing read, pointing to quotes from Jobs's contribution to an earnings call in October.
"'App store' is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use," Microsoft added. Apple's trademark application was filed in July 2008.