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  • Microsoft Goes Linguistic on Apple in Trademark Case


    Try as they might, Apple will not have an easy time securing the trademark for "App Store." The people at Microsoft simply won't let that happen. And to better ensure that it doesn't, they've hired a linguistic expert to help illustrate why Apple is wrongfully laying claim to a phrase that should continue to exist as generic fair game for all.

    In yet another complaint filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Microsoft has brought in linguistic expert Ronald R. Butters to counter the pro-Apple assertions made by Apple's linguistic expert Robert A. Leonard. According to Microsoft's wordsmith: "the compound noun 'app store' means simply 'store at which apps are offered for sale,' which is merely a definition of the thing itself--a generic characterization."

    "The undisputed facts establish that 'app store' means exactly what it says, a store offering apps, and is generic for the retail store services for which Apple seeks registration," Microsoft claims. "Apple does not contest that its other services are ancillary and incidental to its retail store services. Summary judgment should be entered denying Apple's application in its entirety."

    Butters also blasted Apple for using "online dictionaries" that were meant to lend credence to Apple's unique affiliation with and connection to the "App Store" designation. Butters alleges that "the online 'dictionary' sources Leonard cites were not written by established lexicographers and are without scientific authority. Even so, he included an online source that does, in fact, define app store as a generic term."

    It isn't clear what will ultimately come of Apple's efforts to trademark "App Store." But what is unmistakably apparent is that Apple isn't going to limit its fight to Microsoft. Last week, Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon for referring to its new mobile software distribution marketplace as an "Appstore."

    Source: CNET
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Microsoft Goes Linguistic on Apple in Trademark Case started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 63 Comments
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      Lol someone should just patent every word with an "i" in front of it so Apple will never be able to call something "i"something in the future.

      If Paris Hilton could trademark "thats hot", Apple should be allowed to trademark "App Store" for mobile devices at least.
    1. hogcia's Avatar
      hogcia -
      Apple is so dam greedy as usual, they want it all. If I'm not mistaken apple stole the name "iPhone" from a company who already owned the name. they settled in court.
    1. ziim's Avatar
      ziim -
      Uh, Doesn't Microsoft have the same patent for Windows? Maybe Apple should call their app store Windows2Apps.
    1. Drizahy's Avatar
      Drizahy -
      As stupid as it is apple is well in the right to do so. If you have a store online that sells programs to customers by all means call it what it is a application store or program store. Apple made the name App Store and is telling them think of a name yourself even if you just chopped up a word. Some that may come to mind may be "Crapstore" as stated or "the fruit company has it so should we store" and even soon to be popular "Copied Store"...

      Either way "Simpsons did it."
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by MetallicaFan1991 View Post
      Lol someone should just patent every word with an "i" in front of it so Apple will never be able to call something "i"something in the future.

      If Paris Hilton could trademark "thats hot", Apple should be allowed to trademark "App Store" for mobile devices at least.
      I think Apple has something over using a lower case "i" at the start of a word. I remember there being a case a few years back where Apple won.

      Anywho Apple already has trademarked common words:
      Airport
      Aperture
      Apple
      Aqua
      Carbon
      Boot Camp
      Bonjour
      For the full list see Apple - Legal - Trademark List

      Quote Originally Posted by hogcia View Post
      Apple is so dam greedy as usual, they want it all. If I'm not mistaken apple stole the name "iPhone" from a company who already owned the name. they settled in court.
      They didn't "steal" it, they bought the name from LG (I think), just like they bought/licensed the name iOS from Cisco
    1. jds1469's Avatar
      jds1469 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Turb02 View Post
      Who does Apple think they are? Whats next on their list to (TM)?
      Well I just put a trademark on TM. So u owe me.
    1. Samcole28's Avatar
      Samcole28 -
      Just call it iApps and be done with it. Apple has iMovie, iTunes, iPods, iMacs, iPhones, iPads, iDisk, iPhoto... Would iApps be too far fetched???
    1. mathieuvp's Avatar
      mathieuvp -
      you can see it on two sides;
      one that Apple just be rediculous or the other side that they infact, like earlier said, created a culture about "App Store" so they made the name popular and now others want to use all their effort..
    1. kraziebone's Avatar
      kraziebone -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kolder View Post
      Well, to be fair. Before apple marketed it. App store didn't even really mean anything. When someone says app store nowadays you automatically know what that means because apple put it into popular culture. It's a brand just like anything else.
      I strongly disagree. Had I heard that term 10 years ago I would have known immediately what it was. Apple didn't coin the terms, and I feel like this is quite a stretch to own that

      Quote Originally Posted by feidhlim1986 View Post
      I think Apple has something over using a lower case "i" at the start of a word. I remember there being a case a few years back where Apple won.

      Anywho Apple already has trademarked common words:
      Airport
      Aperture
      Apple
      Aqua
      Carbon
      Boot Camp
      Bonjour
      For the full list see Apple - Legal - Trademark List



      They didn't "steal" it, they bought the name from LG (I think), just like they bought/licensed the name iOS from Cisco
      Just because the name is generic doesn't doesn't necessarily mean that they can't trademark it. For example bootcamp is obviously a known term but it is not a generic term for booting different operating systems. In contrast app store is exactly that, an application store. It's a generic term that is explaining exactly what it is
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      I say we get Bill Gates and SJ on a couple of podiums and lets have a nice edumacated debate on why or why not this should happen. No?
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      Seriously these companies are just filing patents for ANYTHING... Some of the people that approve these patents are idiotic when it comes to technology and have been approving stuff that should not have a patent.

      For example "Google Doodles":Google Patents 'Google Doodles' - PCWorld
    1. ronanz's Avatar
      ronanz -
      Quote Originally Posted by iamutman View Post
      Microsoft is gonna need a "cunning linguist" in order to push this through.
      HA!
    1. Madeleine's Avatar
      Madeleine -
      As much as I like Apple and as much as I hate Microsoft, I am with Microsoft in this one. Apple has a nasty habit for suing everyone over nothing. This simply crosses the line. Hope Microsoft stops Apple.
    1. TheDirtyDiddler's Avatar
      TheDirtyDiddler -
      Whether or not Apple is wrong here, they should come up with a better name anyway.
    1. Rob2G's Avatar
      Rob2G -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kolder View Post
      Well, to be fair. Before apple marketed it. App store didn't even really mean anything. When someone says app store nowadays you automatically know what that means because apple put it into popular culture. It's a brand just like anything else.
      I think apple should be able to copyright app store, because when you hear app store you think apple.
    1. Tworok's Avatar
      Tworok -
      I believe the real reason why they want to have it is because app is not refers to applications but for apple store. They are on their own right just like Windows.
    1. damoek's Avatar
      damoek -
      I wonder what the advantages of trademarking app-store even could be?
    1. blwallace5's Avatar
      blwallace5 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tworok View Post
      I believe the real reason why they want to have it is because app is not refers to applications but for apple store. They are on their own right just like Windows.
      It refers to Application not Apple. Apple already has an app called Apple Store.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hogcia View Post
      Apple is so dam greedy as usual, they want it all. If I'm not mistaken apple stole the name "iPhone" from a company who already owned the name. they settled in court.
      Why does wanting to patent a name that they started and made it what it is today greedy?

      I think Apple has the right to get, "App Store" patented, we all hear it and think of Apple. If they lose then it's not a big deal, they'll still be making billions from it

      Quote Originally Posted by blwallace5 View Post
      It refers to Application not Apple. Apple already has an app called Apple Store.
      Could be both

      Quote Originally Posted by RICO_ View Post
      I say we get Bill Gates and SJ on a couple of podiums and lets have a nice edumacated debate on why or why not this should happen. No?
      Lol I'm with ya!
    1. Mrteacup's Avatar
      Mrteacup -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dark_Light View Post
      I agree that Apple certainly popularized 'App Store', but I don't know that they should own a trademark for the term.
      Also on a separate note the iStore I mean App Store, can be a bit of a rip off at times, when one can't try an app out. Which is why mod edit removed- no warez
      When you say "when one can't try an app out" do you mean demo it? It's not apples fault or right to add demos to other developers applications that's why it's an option to have a lite application or in other words a demo