In a recent legal filing, Microsoft has cited Amazon’s newly launched Android Appstore as evidence that it is a generic term, and required by other companies to accurately describe their market places.
The US technology giant argues that Apple’s ongoing attempts to secure exclusive rights to the term ‘App Store’ is “at odds with the growing list of competitors using ‘App Store’ in their names and ‘app store’ to describe their stores, including the Amazon Appstore, launched March 22, 2011, by Amazon.com, Inc., the world’s largest online retailer. These uses, despite Apple’s continuing enforcement campaign, show beyond dispute that there is a competitive need for the term.”
Last week, Apple sued Amazon for infringement of its disputed trademark. Apple argues that the public already associates App Store with its iOS marketplace, and that many of its competitors have faced no major issues in finding alternative names for their own – including Microsoft’s own Windows Phone Marketplace.
Apple also points out that Microsoft has faced similar challenges in the past: “Having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed WINDOWS mark, Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public. Yet, Microsoft, missing the forest for the trees, does not base its motion on a comprehensive evaluation of how the relevant public understands the term APP STORE as a whole.”
The dispute continues, though no companies have suggested that they will stop using the term.