Should Apple own the exclusive rights to the term “App Store”? Microsoft sure doesn’t think so, and Apple’s latest trademark filings couldn’t resist taking a jab or two at its biggest, longest-standing competitor.
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On Monday evening, Apple filed its newest round of paperwork to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office claiming that Microsoft never really proved the “genericness” of the phrase “App Store” after the popular mobile marketplace was launched two years ago.
In a nutshell, Apple claims that Microsoft, “falls far short of proving by clear and convincing evidence that a majority of the relevant public uses the term APP STORE generically for any online software marketplace.”
But wait. It gets better:
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 and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public. Yet, Microsoft, missing the forest for the trees, does not base its motion on a comprehensive evaluation of how the relevant public understands the term APP STORE as a whole.
Did you hear that, Microsoft? Missing the forest for the trees!
You can read the full filing here, with a hat tip to Tech Flash for the lead. The whole document gets pretty granular, if that’s your sort of thing, but the argument over “genericness” leads Apple to compare its App Store to other “descriptive terms” that courts have long recognized as “valid marks,” such as The Beef Jerky Outlet, or The Money Store.
Bravo, Apple. Bravo.
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