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Microsoft, HTC, Nokia File Complaints Over Apple’s “App Store” Trademark

Several technology company heavyweights including Microsoft, HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson this week filed formal complaints against Apple’s attempt at getting the terms “App Store” and “Appstore” trademarked. In their complaints they formally ask the Community Trade Mark office in Europe for a declaration of invalidity, claiming that the terms are far too generic.

In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson said that Apple’s application was an “unsupportable claim of exclusivity” and noted that the terms “App Store” and “Appstore” are like “toy store” or “book store” – a generic tem “that should continue to be available for everyone to use for stores that sell apps.”

Microsoft has also heavily invested in a legal battle started in 2008 when Apple first attempted to trademark the term “App Store” with the US Patent and Trademark Office. That dispute is ongoing and both sides have hired linguists in their legal battle.

Furthermore Apple sued Amazon in March this year, in Amazon’s response to the trademark suit they used a quote from Steve Jobs to further illustrate that even he, as Apple’s CEO was using the term “app store” as a generic term to describe online stores that sell apps:

So there will be at least four app stores on Android, which customers must search among to find the app they want and developers will need to work with to distribute their apps and get paid. This is going to be a mess for both users and developers. Contrast this with Apple’s integrated App Store, which offers users the easiest-to-use largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone

[AllThingsD via CNet]

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