Microsoft Challenges Apple Attempt To Patent 'App Store'

Microsoft has challenged Apple’s move to procure European Union trademarks for the names Appstore and App Store.

The company is joined by HTC, Amazon, Nokia and Sony Ericsson, who believe that the iPhone maker should not get the exclusive rights to using these terms as they are generic, an article on The Register reveals.

The terms Appstores and App Store, although coined by Apple for its own mobile application stores for its iOS based devices, has come to be a common term for numerous mobile application stores that have cropped up over the years.

Microsoft had previously appealed to the US Patents and Trademark Office not to give Apple the trademark for using the term exclusively. The company had also hired a language expert to prove that the terms were indeed generic.

“Microsoft and other leading technology companies are seeking to invalidate Apple's trademark registration for APP STORE and APPSTORE because we believe that they should not have been granted because they both lack distinctiveness,” Microsoft said in a statement.

“The undisputed facts establish that 'app store' means exactly what it says, a store offering apps, and is generic for the services that the registrations cover,” it added.

Amazon on the other hand, had rejected Apple’s claims over the terms entirely, launching its own Amazon App Store. The move was followed by a prompt lawsuit by Apple a day after the service was launched.