Before we can jump right into today’s news, we need to provide a little bit of a backstory. This particular wrestling match over a trademark has been ongoing for a couple of months now, but instead of reaching a resolution, the fight just keeps on going down the tubes.
Back in 2008, Apple applied for a trademark on the term “App Store.” It mostly went uncontested until Microsoft decided that they had an issue with it. So, earlier this month, Microsoft filed an official complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, citing the terms general usage. According to Microsoft, the term “App Store” was just too general of a term, and Apple shouldn’t be awarded a trademark for it.
So, upon hearing the complaint, Apple responded. According to Apple, App Store is no more generic than Windows. If Apple can’t have a trademark for App Store, why can Microsoft have one for Windows?
“Having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed Windows mark, Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public…The phenomenal popularity of Apple’s online software marketplace has prompted a number of competitors to offer their own marketplaces. In fact, Microsoft, Google, Nokia, Research In Motion (BlackBerry), Sprint, Verizon, and other major companies now offer an online software marketplace for mobile operating systems that compete with Apple’s mobile operating system (in fact, Apple’s competitors hold a larger market share than Apple in respect of mobile operating systems). As Microsoft itself acknowledges, these competitors have found ways of branding and describing their own online software marketplace without using the term App Store. For example, Microsoft itself uses the term Marketplace to refer to its service and uses the descriptor “virtual store for apps.”
If you’re keeping score in this particular rubber versus glue game, the fight is back in Microsoft’s corner. So, what’s Microsoft turn around and do? Well, they do what any kid on the playground would do—they try to claim Apple’s not playing the game by the rules. Microsoft has officially complained that Apple’s response is too long and that the font they used to file their complaint is too small.
I’m not joking.
“Apple’s brief cannot exceed 25 pages in its entirety, including the table of contents and table of authorities, and must be printed in at least 11 point font.
Microsoft has asked that Apple be “given leave to file a brief that complies with the rules and does not add any new matter or arguments” to the fight. So there you have it—two companies fighting like children on the playground over whether or not a word can be trademarked.
Next step, “my dad’s stronger than your dad” fights. To which I say, nuh-uh, my dad’s totally stronger than your dad.
Article Via The Register