Mobile
Commentary
1/13/2011
12:48 AM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
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Microsoft Objects To Trademark For App Store

Apple has applied for a trademark for the name "App Store" which has become the most popular store for buying smartphone apps. Microsoft has filed to block the application though claiming the name is too common.

Apple has applied for a trademark for the name "App Store" which has become the most popular store for buying smartphone apps. Microsoft has filed to block the application though claiming the name is too common.According to the BBC, Microsoft's attorney thinks the term "app store" is too generic.

Is Microsoft serious? Have they looked at their product portfolio lately? Have you heard of Windows? Other operating systems had "windows" of some sort before Windows 1.0 shipped and even after it did, we all continue to use the term "window" to describe the rectangular box that a particular app or document occupying on the screen.

Windows is only the beginning though. What about these names, which are all trademarked?

  • Access
  • Accounting
  • Communicator
  • Excel
  • Groove
  • Money
  • Office
  • Outlook
  • Project
  • Publisher
  • Word

Those names, and dozens of others, have been around for years, decades or even millennia. I am not sure where the term "Communicator" was originally used, but I think Gene Roddenberry has a claim to it that would be superior to Microsoft's.

It doesn't matter to me whether or not Apple's trademark is granted. when people hear "app store" as it relates to phones, they think of Apple and the iPhone, trademark or not. It just strikes me as funny that the company challenging the trademark because it is to common has a portfolio that is full of nouns, verbs and adjectives that are used in everyday speech.

I guess we should be thankful though that Microsoft uses simple words like that as much as they do. When they create their own name, we get things like "Windows Mobile 2003, Second Edition based Phone Edition." Can you believe the product name as the word "edition" in there twice?

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