Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Microsoft Objects to Apple 'App Store' Mark

Apple is the master of trade marking and wanting to stamp its mark on all things. It took them some 30 years to finally draw closure on the trademark battle with the Beatles over 'Apple'. They had a protracted dispute with Cisco over the 'iPhone' mark, which was finally settled with an agreed sharing of rights over the name. Last year they announced 'iTV' and obviously hadn’t seen the UK’s Second largest broadcaster was called ITV. So are they brand development experts or simply brand ignorant of all around them?

Now Microsoft has formally objected to Apple's attempt to trademark the words 'App Store'. In 2008 Apple submitted an application for the phrase, but Microsoft has now asked the US Patent and Trademark Office to reject the application stating that the term is too generic and competitors should be able to use it.

So is an 'app store' the same as a 'book store', or a 'shoe store', or a 'food store'? Today apps are common and every platform has them and also offers them through their own ‘stores.’

The timing of the Microsoft filing comes only days after Apple launched its latest App Store, for computer software on the Mac platform. It also comes only days after Amazon announced its intent to open its own Amazon Appstore. To grant a mark today would be like trying to shut the stable doors after the horse has bolted, but in today’s litigation world who knows what’s in the minds of lawyers.

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