Microsoft challenges Apple’s ‘App Store’ trademark

Mac App StoreMicrosoft won’t let Apple have its “App Store” trademark without first putting up a fight. Earlier this week, Microsoft filed a motion with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office calling the “App Store” name too generic and restrictive.

Apple first applied for the trademark in 2008, shortly after launching the App Store for the iPhone. Microsoft is now seeking to thwart Apple’s claim to the “App Store” name.

“An ‘app store’ is an ‘app store’,” Russell Pangborn, Microsoft’s associate general counsel, told the BBC. “Like ‘shoe store’ or ‘toy store’, it is a generic term that is commonly used by companies, governments and individuals that offer apps.”

“The term ‘app store’ should continue to be available for use by all without fear of reprisal by Apple,” he went on.

There have been several virtual app retail places to crop up since Apple launched its App Store in July of 2008. All are considered to be “app stores,” but all have avoided being officially titled as such — perhaps due to Apple’s trademark request. There’s currently the Android Market for Google’s Android OS devices, the Ovi Store for Nokia handsets, App World for BlackBerrys,  and Microsoft’s own Windows Marketplace for Windows Phone 7 devices. Amazon is also planning on launching its own app store.

It’s not clear why Microsoft has waited until now to press its issue with Apple’s trademark, but you can bet Microsoft is none too happy about Apple cementing its hold on the “App Store” trademark with its latest app retail store, the Mac App Store, which launched last week.

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