Microsoft has teamed up with three partners to challenge Apple’s “App Store” trademark in Europe.
The software giant filed a challenge in Europe on Thursday alongside its three partners, HTC, Nokia and Sony. The quartet all disagree that Apple should have rights over the “App Store” trademark in Europe. GeekWire reports that the companies filed court documents on Thursday.
Microsoft has previously filed a motion for summary judgement with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, asking it to deny Apple’s trademark. “Any secondary meaning or fame Apple has in ‘App Store’ is de facto secondary meaning that cannot convert the generic term ‘app store’ into a protectable trademark,” wrote Microsoft in filing submitted in January with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. “Apple cannot block competitors from using a generic name. ‘App store’ is generic and therefore in the public domain and free for all competitors to use.”
Microsoft says it has been forced to use an alternative name for its app store, the Windows Phone Marketplace, pending the results of the Apple trademark objection. The software giant issued the following statement over its latest action in Europe:
“Microsoft and other leading technology companies are seeking to invalidate Apple’s trademark registration for APP STORE and APPSTORE because we believe that they should not have been granted because they both lack distinctiveness. 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.”