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Microsoft Enlists Eminent Linguist In 'App Store' Trademark Battle

Software giant Microsoft has continued its fight to prevent Apple from trademarking the term 'app store', citing Amazon's recently launched Android Appstore and calling upon a renowned linguist, to show the term is generic.

Amazon launched its Amazon Appstore platform this month, offering apps based on Google's Android platform. A day after Amazon launched the app store / appstore, Apple promptly filed a lawsuit claiming infringement of copyright.

Microsoft said in a legal filing to the US Patents and Trademark Office that the term was used to describe online platforms that offered applications for mobile devices. The company said that Apple should not be allowed the trademark for the term 'app store' because it was used by competing offerings, like the Amazon Appstore.

“Apple strains to keep 'App Store' for its exclusive use, even claiming that its online stores are not real stores, only metaphorical ones. But Apple cannot escape the hard truth: when people talk about competitors’ stores, they call them 'app stores',” the filing read, pointing out that even Apple CEO Steve Jobs has referred to competing platforms as 'app stores'.

Microsoft has also hired famous linguist Dr. Ronald R. Butters, Professor Emeritus of English and cultural anthropology at Duke University, to establish its claims that the term is generic.

"The compound noun 'app store' means simply a 'store at which apps are offered for sale,' which is merely a definition of the thing itself," the Professor pointed out.