Apple has been quite successful with its App Store, as it just recently reached more than 15 billion downloads and has been raking in the cash (as well as giving developers a boatload of money). The company is also determined to trademark “App Store” so that other companies can’t use it, which is why we’ve seen companies like RIM use BlackBerry World for its app distribution marketplace.
GetJar, the world’s largest independent app store, isn’t hearing that noise and it fired back in a blog post:
- It’s questionable whether Apple even owns the term “App Store” to begin with. If you look at the case being battled out between Apple and other 3rd parties and really do some homework you’ll see that:
- They filed to register App Store in 2008 with the USPTO and were denied the mark.
- Since Apple has a tough time with the word “NO” they filed again and we’re given a “provisional” registration under the condition that they could TM App Store if nobody opposed the registration. Well it just so happens that Microsoft among others did oppose it.
- So for Apple to be going around threatening or suing others on the basis of a tenuous “ownership” claim of a generic name that isn’t 100% theirs is seriously “taking-the-piss” as the English would say and we would probably use more colorful language here in the US.
- GetJar has been using the term “App Store” in press releases and in it’s positioning with consumers, trade, analysts and press since early 2009 and it’s only now that Apple has decided to send us a C&D. That said, GetJar does not use the term in it’s brand/slogan or strapline.
I have to side with GetJar and the others on this one, as I do think “App Store” is a generic term.