Apple Defends “App Store” Trademark

Trademarks March 1st, 2011


Apple defended its attempt to trademark the term “App Store,” in a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office Monday.

The world’s largest technology company told the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Monday that if it agreed with rival Microsoft’s argument that the term is too generic to be trademarked, it would have to cancel a whole bunch of other trademarked names, including “The Container Store;” “Wood Store;” “Awardstore;” “Swag Store;” “The Auto Store;” and “The Engagement Ring Store,” among others.

Apple’s lawyers say that the company first coined the “App Store” term just over two years ago, and since then more than 160 million consumers around the world have downloaded more than 10 billion software programs.

“Apple has extensively advertised, marketed and promoted the APP STORE service and the APP STORE mark,” write its lawyers. “In particular, Apple has spent millions of dollars on print, television and internet advertising. Apple’s efforts and the resulting commercial success of the APP STORE service have conditioned a majority of consumers to perceive APP STORE as a trademark, not a generic term.”

Apple’s lawyers scoffed at Microsoft’s attempt in January to get the USPTO to refuse to grant the trademark, saying that having faced a “decades-long” genericness challenge to its Windows trademark, it should be clear to the company what the logic underpinning trademark law is.

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