Microsoft's Irony

Short one today, folks. Apparently, Microsoft™ is trying to block Apple™’s trademark application for the term “App Store.” (here’s the actual motion) They say “App Store” is a generic term used to describe a place to buy applications. As a long-time mobile technology user, I have to disagree. I’ve used Palm and Windows Mobile devices since the Palm Pilot came out in 1997. Never once did I go anywhere that was called the “App Store” until the iPhone™ went 2.0 and Apple™ opened their App Store.

While it is part of the lexicon now, it doesn’t mean it’s generic. Kleenex™ and QTip™ are trademarked. I’ve never heard someone ask me for a cotton swab.

Google™ gets it. They call their store the Android Market™. They understand that Apple™ has the right to “App Store”. Microsoft™, you already use the term “Marketplace™” here and here. Why are you trying to snarf someone else’s term?

And here’s the best part: Despite Microsoft™, Google™, Apple™, and Linux all basing their OSes off of IBM™and Xerox™’s windowed GUI approach, you trademarked the term “Windows™” long ago. If everyone is using desktop windows to present information, isn’t that just as generic? Microsoft™ did not call the little box on your screen that holds information a “window” first. But they were smart enough to trademark it early on. Now, people can have lower-case windows, but not upper-case Windows™. And now, Microsoft™, you can have an application store, but not an App Store™.