Microsoft to legally challenge Apple's 'App Store' patent

Microsoft demand term 'App Store' open to mass use

App Store trademark controversy riles Microsoft

Microsoft has announced it is to legally oppose an Apple trademark that grants the iPhone and iPad creators sole use of the term ‘App Store’ in the sale of mobile applications.

Petitioning under the defence that ‘app store’ is a generic term and therefore should not be allowed to be patented by a single company, Microsoft is looking to overrule a decision that has to date restricted Microsoft and its fellow iPhone challengers from referring to their application shopping experiences in such a manner.

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Microsoft’s legal filing read: "App store is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use. Competitors should be free to use 'app store' to identify their own stores and the services offered in connection with those stores."

Currently Microsoft, along with Google and its Android mobile OS, has been forced by the Apple trademark to adopt adaptations of the unpatented market theme with the store moniker off-limits. Whilst Microsoft’s latest mobile OS makes apps available to users through the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, Google’s OS hosts the Android Market.

Adding an additional personal attack to its scathing Apple criticism, Microsoft’s legal filing added: "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, as the generic name for online stores featuring apps."

The Trademark Board is now tasked with reviewing the patent and considering Microsoft’s concerns with the current ruling.

Is App Store a generic, universal accepted term or a phrase you associate solely with Apple devices? Share your thoughts via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.