Microsoft Opposes Apples Attempt to Trademark “App Store”

Microsoft is attempting to block Apple’s attempts to trademark the phrase “App Store”, arguing that as the words describe a generic concept, they cannot be subject to a trademark.

Microsoft lawyers filed a motion with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board yesterday, objecting to Apple’s application to trademark the phrase on the grounds that: “App store is generic and therefore in the public domain and free for all competitors to use.”

Microsoft has taken its time in raising the objection; Apple’s trademark application, submitted in 2008, was opened up for opposition by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) more than a year ago.

On the face of it, Microsoft would seem to have a point. However, in November last year, it emerged that social networking giant Facebook had been granted a ‘notice of allowance’ to trade mark the word ‘face’ by the USPTO, effectively giving the company the go-ahead to trademark the word, so long as it can demonstrate commercial use of ‘face’, rather than ‘facebook’ in the US. Facebook has previously taken aggressive legal action against sites with ‘face’ or ‘book’ in their name, such as Faceporn and Teachbook.