Apple Wants Exclusivity to terms “App Store”

Apple has been picking fights lately with tech industry giants on the legality of the phrase “App Store”, claiming that it has exclusivity to that term.

Recently, Apple had sued Amazon, in which they stated that the Amazon App Store steals the phrase from the iTunes App Store.  Somewhat of a stretch in my opinion.  They are also aiming to chart down that same path with Microsoft.

“Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words ‘app store’ together denote a store for apps”.  That is the stance Apple is taking in their filing with the California District Court.  A little confusing?  Certainly seems as though they are trying to deny the generality of the term app store.  Amazing.  Amazon, Microsoft and others like them find the complaint to be unreasonable.

Personally, the term app as I have come to recognize it has been around for a considerably long time.  Its short for application.  How could anyone claim exclusivity to that?  Nonetheless, Apple feels that they have a legitimate case for contention here.  More specifically, because of the full phrase “app store”.  There is an indication by Apple that they do not find their “App Store” to be generic like the others.

Apple actually does have some history of success in this case however.  OHIM, Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, allowed Apple to successfully trademark the terms “appstore” and “app store”.  This company, based in Spain, is being contacted by other large technology companies to reverse this decision.  They contend that the decision lacks clarity.  Microsoft, HTC, Sony Ericsson and Nokia all hope to resolve this quickly, especially with the rising popularity of their relative “app stores”.       



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