Jan. 12, 2011 at 11:32 AM ET
Mobile apps are hot and the Redmond company is even hotter under the collar about Apple's pending request to trademark "App Store." Microsoft has filed a legal challenge with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, saying "the combined term 'app store' is commonly used in the trade, by the general press, by consumers, by Apple’s competitors and even by Apple’s founder and CEO Steve Jobs, as the generic name for online stores featuring apps."
It's understandable why Microsoft might want to use the two words together: Its app store, Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, sounds more like a place to buy paper goods and meat. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.) Android calls its app store the Android Market; BlackBerry has App World; and HP/Palm dubs its app store the App Catalog. Apple was the first with its App Store, originally for the iPhone, in 2008.
"App store," says Microsoft in the appeal, "is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use. Competitors should be free to use 'app store' to identify their own stores and the services offered in connection with those stores."