The battle between Microsoft and Apple over the name of Apple’s application market for developers, called the “App Store” is getting even bitterer. It is now becoming increasingly common to see tech companies fighting over ubiquity and this will very likely lead to more such disputes. It is always a big risk to use generic names to name products or to establish it as a tradition, as in the ”i” in Apple products as they can be subject to such challenges. The App Store was established in 2008, and was probably the first of its kind to offer a chance to independent developers for creating applications for its mobile platform.
Apple had filed for the trademark for the ”App Store” at around the same period of time. However, Microsoft contested this from that very moment, saying that Apple couldn’t be given exclusive rights over a term that was so vague and generic that it could apply to the application market of any other mobile platform. This has now been turned around by Apple, arguing that if App Store is generic then Microsoft uses an even more generic term for its flagship product, Windows.
Apple’s case has been made strong by arguments which harp upon the fact that the term App Store has been popularized mainly by Apple as there were no competitors at the time it was coined. They also say that it wasn’t an arbitrary choice, but “App Store” is also meant as a double entendre which also stands for “Apple Store”. Further, it has been proved by companies like Google and RIM that there are plenty other options for the competitors to name their respective stores. Microsoft, however, argues just as rationally, saying that being the first to use it doesn’t grant someone the ownership over such a generic term that could be used to describe all such services.