Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/13/appstore_trademark/

Microsoft, Nokia, HTC fight Apple's 'App store' trademark

'Merely a definition of a thing'

By John Oates

Posted in Business, 13th May 2011 08:40 GMT

Microsoft is joining a challenge to Apple's European trademark of Appstore and App Store.

The software giant is joining with mobile firms HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson to challenge Apple's trademark in Europe. Amazon has filed a similar complaint.

The companies want the trademark dismissed as too generic – which might seem a bit cheeky from the holder of a trademark on the word Windows.

Microsoft told us: “Microsoft and other leading technology companies are seeking to invalidate Apple’s trademark registrations for APP STORE and APPSTORE before the European Community Trademark Office. Apple has claimed that it alone has the right to use the phrase “App Store.” Today’s filings by HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Microsoft, like Amazon’s recent action, demonstrate the breadth of opposition to Apple’s unsupportable claim of exclusivity. “App store,” like “toy store” or “book store,” is a generic term that should continue to be available for everyone to use for stores that sell apps.”

Earlier this year Apple sued Amazon over its use of "app store", and Microsoft requested the US Patent and Trademark Office to deny Apple's application over the phrase.

Microsoft even hired a professor of linguistics to back its claim that: "The compound noun app store means simply 'store at which apps are offered for sale', which is merely a definition of the thing itself – a generic characterisation." ®