Microsoft Files App Store Trademark Complaint

Microsoft doesn’t think Apple should trademark “App Store,” and has gone so far as to file a motion for summary judgement with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board claiming the term is too vague. Apple applied for the App Store trademark in 2008, and uses the name for its iPhone, iPod touch and iPad app distribution system, and recently launched a Mac OS X version of the online store, too.

Microsoft wants some app store action

“‘App store’ is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use,” Microsoft said in its complaint. “Competitors should be free to use ‘app store’ to identify their own stores and the services offered in conjunction with those stores.”

The complaint points out that Apple’s competitors have been forced to use other names for their online app services, such as Windows Phone Marketplace, to avoid potential lawsuits for using the term “app store.”

By blocking other companies from using the generic app store name, Apple is gaining an unfair advantage, Microsoft argued. “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.”

Despite concerns that Apple is attempting to trademark what it sees as a generic term, Microsoft seems more than happy to protect “windows.”

Apple has not commented on Microsoft’s trademark complaint.

[Thanks to TechFlash for the heads up.]