Microsoft, HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson team up to take fight against Apple's 'app store' claim to Europe

Firms file papers with EU

Microsoft, HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson team up to take fight against Apple's 'app store' claim to Europe
Microsoft has opened up a new front in its war against Apple's claim to the 'app store' name, writing to the EU to file for a formal application for declaration of invalidity.

Along with HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson, the company has branded Apple's rights to both 'app store' and 'Appstore' as invalid, again arguing that the terms are simply to generic to hand to one company alone.

Partner power

"Today's filings by HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, and Microsoft, like Amazon's recent action, demonstrate the breadth of opposition to Apple’s unsupportable claim of exclusivity," a Microsoft representative said of the development.

"'App store,' like 'toy store' or 'book store', is a generic term that should continue to be available for everyone to use for stores that sell apps.

"The undisputed facts establish that 'app store' means exactly what it says, a store offering apps, and is generic for the services that the registrations cover."

Two can play at that game

Microsoft's action follows Apple's decision to sue Amazon over what it claims its an alleged trademark infringement with the launch of the retailer's Amazon Appstore for Android.

Apple claims the name will confuse consumers, leading them to believe it is affiliated with Apple's own App Store for iOS, despite the two marketplaces operating on different platforms.

Amazon countered by requesting that courts throw the case out, again branding the term generic and, like Microsoft before it, quoting Apple CEO Steve Jobs in October 2010 when he claimed the App Store was "the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone".

Aside from its run ins with what is growing to be a rather sizable alliance, Apple is also currently in the process of attempting to register its claim over 'app store' with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

[source: All Things Digital]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.