Filing separate requests with the EU trademark agency in Alicante, Spain, four of the world’s leading wireless technology companies (Microsoft, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and HTC) are challenging Apple’s EU-wide trademarks for the words “Appstore” and “App Store.”
Microsoft recently said in statement that they were “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.”
Apple’s 350,000 apps represent more than ¾ of the industry’s revenue, or about $2.91B. The company has also sued Amazon in the United States for trademark infringement of their intellectual property rights.
While the wireless companies’ claims of the ‘App Store’ moniker’s generic nature are arguable, what is not is the ubiquitous nature of ‘Apps,’ and by default the places where they can be found. It’s obvious these companies don’t want Apple to be the only one who can use the term so firmly entrenched in technology’s (and even pop culture’s) lexicon. But it is also likely that were Microsoft the first one to market with an ‘App Store,’ they would have done the exact same thing Apple has.
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