When hear “App Store,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Apple, iTunes and the iPhone and iOS devices, right? You don’t think Windows Phone 7 Marketplace or the Android Market or BlackBerry App World. Nope. You think of that $300 billion+ company and its massive online applications store. Well, Microsoft ain’t having that.
The folks up in Redmond are voicing their opinions on Apple’s attempt to trademark “App Store” for its iTunes applications store. It’s going to be tough for Microsoft to get that phrase out of our heads when we think of Apple and iOS apps, though. Even if it wins this silly battle, it’s all about mindshare and what has been burned into our collective consciousness.
The Redmond company this week escalated its battle against Apple’s attempt to trademark the term “App Store” — asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to refuse the iPhone maker’s registration request on the basis that it’s a generic name, not something to which Apple can lay exclusive claim.
Microsoft says that Apple can’t block use of the term “App Store” because it’s so generic and can be applied to all the app stores currently in the market. Fair enough, but Apple says that use of the term is already known as a “reference to Apple’s extraordinarily well-known APP STORE mark and the services rendered by Apple thereunder.”
Although this is an important issue for the two, you’d think that both companies have bigger fish to fry. Microsoft ought to focus on making its software kick ass and be memorable enough that it doesn’t need stinkin’ terms like “App Store.”