Microsoft Hires Linguist to Oppose Apple's 'App Store' Trademark

135003 app store icon

CNET reports that Microsoft has filed yet another document (PDF) in its case opposing Apple's application for a trademark on the term "App Store", moving beyond its earlier effort involving complaining about Apple's font size to bring in a linguist to counter Apple's own expert in debating the genericness of the term.

Microsoft struck back in a separate declaration filed today by linguistic expert Ronald R. Butters that attempts to poke holes in [Apple's hired linguist Robert A.] Leonard's claims, saying "the compound noun 'app store' means simply 'store at which apps are offered for sale,' which is merely a definition of the thing itself--a generic characterization."

Butters also knocks Leonard's sourcing of online dictionaries that had spelled out Apple's ties to the App Store moniker. "The online 'dictionary' sources Leonard cites were not written by established lexicographers and are without scientific authority," Butters wrote. "Even so, he included an online source that does, in fact, define app store as a generic term."

The filing also points to Amazon's just-introduced Appstore for Android as yet another example of the term being generic. Apple noted in a prior filing that it had moved to protect its trademark by reaching out to companies it believed was using the "App Store" name improperly, but Microsoft argues that the simple fact that those companies were using the term in the first place indicates that the term is generic.

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