Microsoft does not want Apple to gain a trademark for the term "App Store" and is currently fighting to be able to use the term for its own mobile application store. They have recently asked the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to refuse the trademark on the term "App Store" for Apple because they claim it is too generic of a name and they feel Apple doesn't have the right to lay claim to the term.

Any secondary meaning or fame Apple has in 'App Store' is de facto secondary meaning that cannot convert the generic term 'app store' into a protectable trademark. Apple cannot block competitors from using a generic name. 'App store' is generic and therefore in the public domain and free for all competitors to use.

Microsoft is also pointing out that the media commonly refers to application stores across all mobile platforms as "App Stores" and they even go as far as stating that Steve Jobs himself has used the term as a generic form when referring to the Android "App Store."

Apple stands by the fact that when people think of and refer to "App Store" it is in reference to Apple's App Store and is not being used as a generic term.

The vastly predominant usage of the expression 'app store' in trade press is as a reference to Apple’s extraordinarily well-known APP STORE mark and the services rendered by Apple thereunder.

As of now Microsoft and others will have to stick with their current application store names until the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office makes their final ruling. It doesn't seem to make sense for Microsoft to want to rename their current application store nor would it seem worth it for Google to rename it's store but when it comes to competition and technology you never know. What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you think Apple has a right to what Microsoft refers to as a generic term or should it be available for anyone to use?

[ TechFlash ]