Rather than adding credence to the argument that consumers are likely to be confused by the rash of 'app stores' popping up, Microsoft has used the launch of Amazon's Appstore to dismiss Apple's claims to the name.
In its latest legal filing regarding Apple's attempt to trademark 'App Store' with the USPTO, Microsoft claims Amazon's Appstore acts as proof that all companies need access to the phrase in order to describe the service on offer.
In the Redmond firm's view, it would be irresponsible to give any one company a hold over the name.
Points of reference
"Apple strains to keep 'App Store' for its exclusive use, even claiming that its online stores are not real stores, only metaphorical ones," Microsoft adds in the filing.
"But Apple cannot escape the hard truth: when people talk about competitors' stores, they call them 'app stores'. You don't have to look far to find this generic use The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and even Apple's CEO Steve Jobs.
"And generic use of 'app store' is not obscure or occasional as Apple would have us believe. It is prominent, ongoing and, by Apple's own measure, hundreds of times more frequent than the thin generic use in the cases upon which Apple relies."
Apple is currently in the process of suing Amazon over its use of the name, having claimed it attempted make contact with the online retailer on more than one occasion to no avail.
The company is also reported to have sent a cease-and-desist letter to adult app store MiKandi for similar reasons.
However, as explained to PocketGamer.biz by Olswang LLP lawyer Jas Purewal, Apple faces many difficulties if it is to fully take control of the 'App Store' name, most notably those wrapped up in the Amazon case, where it could be argued that consumers are unlikely to be confused given the two markerplaces run on different operating systems.
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.
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