Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:00 UTC
Legal There's a scene in American Beauty where Kevin Spacey masturbates in the shower, while his voice-over states: "This will be the highlight of my day. It's all downhill from here." That's how I feel right now. We just had Microsoft suing Barnes & Noble, which was already pretty low to begin with, but Apple just upped the ante by suing Amazon... Over the 'app store' trademark. For the love of god.
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Ummmm...
by tomcat on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:19 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

I'm fairly certain that Apple's mark will be overturned, after a thorough, competent review of the case.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Ummmm...
by computrius on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:30 UTC in reply to "Ummmm..."
computrius Member since:
2006-03-26

Ha, you think there is going to be a competent review of this case.

Reply Score: 8

How about "Windows"
by Sabon on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:25 UTC
Sabon
Member since:
2005-07-06

How about "Windows". That's a very generic term. What OS doesn't have Windows and Microsoft certainly create the first windowing OS. Neither did Apple. That was done at PARC if not somewhere before that.

So ... let's yank the Windows trademark.

Reply Score: 2

RE: How about "Windows"
by Macrat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:00 UTC in reply to "How about "Windows""
Macrat Member since:
2006-03-27

How about "Windows". That's a very generic term.


Remember what happened to the Lindows OS?

Reply Score: 2

RE: How about "Windows"
by tomcat on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:01 UTC in reply to "How about "Windows""
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

So ... let's yank the Windows trademark.


Actually, you could take them to court. But, you would need standing -- some legitimate reason why the Windows mark should be revoked.

Edited 2011-03-22 01:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: How about "Windows"
by gedmurphy on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 08:02 UTC in reply to "How about "Windows""
gedmurphy Member since:
2005-12-23

How about "Windows". That's a very generic term.


'Windows' doesn't describe what the product is. If Windows was called 'Operating System' then you would have a fair point, but there's a hell of a lot more to the Windows operating system than the windowing UI. Some would argue that's less than 1% of the product.

App Store is exactly what it is. It's like trying to copyright the term 'motor vehicle'.

Edited 2011-03-22 08:03 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: How about "Windows"
by jackeebleu on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 00:27 UTC in reply to "RE: How about "Windows""
jackeebleu Member since:
2006-01-26

It's about trademark, not copyright. Learn something: A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs, that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others. A Copyright protects original creative works such as books, movies, songs, paintings, photographs, websites and choreography. As a copyright owner, you can control how your work is reproduced, distributed and presented publicly.

Under your logic it's ok for all facial tissues to be called Kleenex despite the fact that competing vendors in the marketplace make facial tissues in the same style boxes and shapes. The reason that Kleenex is synonymous with the segment is due to the efforts of Kimberly-Clark, just as is the case of "Xerox" and "Sticky Note" and "Scotch Tape".

It's as though you guys believe that if something seems obvious now, it should have always been done and anyone else can just come along and use it. If you really tell the truth to yourself and even do your digging, you'll realize that Apple did indeed bring "Apps" into the current lexicon.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: How about "Windows"
by Alfman on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 02:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about "Windows""
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

"It's as though you guys believe that if something seems obvious now, it should have always been done and anyone else can just come along and use it. If you really tell the truth to yourself and even do your digging, you'll realize that Apple did indeed bring 'Apps' into the current lexicon."

I'm sorry, Apps really is obvious, I even had a folder named that on my backup drive long before apple invented the iphone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: How about "Windows"
by tomcat on Thu 24th Mar 2011 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How about "Windows""
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

If you really tell the truth to yourself and even do your digging, you'll realize that Apple did indeed bring "Apps" into the current lexicon.


No, that's BS. The term "Apps" has been widely used within the software industry FOREVER. It's like trying to trademark the term LAPTOP.

Reply Score: 2

v I'm by no means a apple fan boy but...
by sagum on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:26 UTC
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

For me, when I think of "app store" all that springs to mind is a goto place for the apple related software. I'd be quite confused to see android or even wp7 apps there.


If that's what you're used to, but for example to me "app store" means a place where I can buy applications and games. Ie. "app store" means "application store", a generic term like e.g. "hammer" means, well, a hammer.

Every OS has applications and games and a store is a store so it feels really stupid to try to claim it is somehow Apple-only.

Reply Score: 11

Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

Using your logic, Microsoft should lose their trademark Windows then. I'm all for that.

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Using your logic, Microsoft should lose their trademark Windows then. I'm all for that.


Microsoft has trademark for "Microsoft Windows", which is obviously unique enough to be trademarkable. Just plain "windows" is too generic a term to trademark.

Reply Score: 5

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Which is why the trademark really should be for "Apple App Store" or "iPhone App Store" or "iTunes App Store".

"App Store" is too generic. Especially considering there are "app stores" available on:
* iOS devices
* BlackBerry devices
* Windows Phone 7 devices
* Android devices
* Palm devices
* various computer OSes
* probably other systems

The "App Store" trademark should never have been granted, and should be overturned.

Reply Score: 5

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The "App Store" trademark should never have been granted, and should be overturned.


It has not been granted. Apple has indeed sought for the trademark, but it is still actually waiting for final decision on the matter as Microsoft has filed a complaint on it being too broad a term to be trademarked.

Reply Score: 5

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Soooo, Apple is suing for trademark infringement, on a trademark they don't have? The US judicial system boggles my Canadian mind. :roll-eyes:

Reply Score: 7

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Soooo, Apple is suing for trademark infringement, on a trademark they don't have? The US judicial system boggles my Canadian mind. :roll-eyes:


One of the requirements of having and keeping a trademark (in the US, that is) is that you need to actively defend it and as such this could be seen as Apple trying to fulfill that requirement. But I agree, it is a stretch for suing someone over a trademark that hasn't actually yet been granted.

Reply Score: 2

olefiver Member since:
2008-04-04

I'm no expert on trademark law, but is there a difference between "windows" and "Windows"?

AND as Macrat pointed in the comments on this very news:

Remember what happened to the Lindows OS?

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I'm no expert on trademark law, but is there a difference between "windows" and "Windows"?

AND as Macrat pointed in the comments on this very news:
"Remember what happened to the Lindows OS?
"

"Microsoft v. Lindows.com, Inc. was a court case brought by Microsoft against Lindows, Inc in December 2001 [1], claiming that the name "Lindows" was a violation of its trademark "Windows."

After two and a half years of court battles, Microsoft paid US$20 million for the Lindows trademark, and Lindows Inc. became Linspire Inc."

Taken from the relevant Wikipedia article at https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Microsoft_v._Lindows

Ie. Microsoft actually didn't win the court case, they settled the thing and paid for Lindows for a name change.

Reply Score: 5

vRalph Member since:
2009-12-21

After two and a half years of court battles, Microsoft paid US$20 million for the Lindows trademark, and Lindows Inc. became Linspire Inc."

what? lol. I am going to start a linux distro called MS Widows OS ( Miserable Widows OS). See if Microsoft will pay me 20m USD ;) )))

Edited 2011-03-22 07:21 UTC

Reply Score: 4

horatio Member since:
2007-08-09

Microsoft has trademark for "Microsoft Windows"

Microsoft's Trademarks page lists just "Windows"

http://www.microsoft.com/About/Legal/EN/US/IntellectualProperty/Tra...

I suppose they could be fibbing though.

Reply Score: 1

rhavyn Member since:
2005-07-06

"Using your logic, Microsoft should lose their trademark Windows then. I'm all for that.


Microsoft has trademark for "Microsoft Windows", which is obviously unique enough to be trademarkable. Just plain "windows" is too generic a term to trademark.
"

Microsoft has a trademark for "Windows."

http://assignments.uspto.gov/assignments/q?db=tm&sno=74090419

Reply Score: 3

Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

"[q]Using your logic, Microsoft should lose their trademark Windows then. I'm all for that.


Microsoft has trademark for "Microsoft Windows", which is obviously unique enough to be trademarkable. Just plain "windows" is too generic a term to trademark.
"

Using your logic, Microsoft should lose their trademark Windows then. I'm all for that.


Microsoft has trademark for "Microsoft Windows", which is obviously unique enough to be trademarkable. Just plain "windows" is too generic a term to trademark. [/q]

Really? So that means I can create my own OS called, "Sabon's Windows" and Microsoft won't come after me because it doesn't say Microsoft in the name? Are you serious?

Reply Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Really? So that means I can create my own OS called, "Sabon's Windows" and Microsoft won't come after me because it doesn't say Microsoft in the name? Are you serious?


Of course they can _try_, but as the Microsoft vs. Linspire case taught us they couldn't enforce trademark on "windows" or very similar terms.

Reply Score: 2

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Using your logic, Microsoft should lose their trademark Windows then. I'm all for that.

Oh for god's sakes, why is this so difficult to understand? You are not following her logic. An operating system can be named... well, just about anything. Android, Kubuntu, Medibuntu - I guess for every letter of the alphabet you could find an OS name. Windows is just as good as any, because it's an arbitrary name for an OS. However, an app store is ... well, an app store. Trademarking appstore prevents others referring to... well, an appstore (I guess you could call it "online software shop" but it doesn't exactly roll off your toungue, does it?)by it's common term. This is equivalent of Microsoft trademarking "Operating System."


That's the problem with this lawsuit.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WereCatf,

"If that's what you're used to, but for example to me 'app store' means a place where I can buy applications and games. Ie. 'app store' means 'application store', a generic term like e.g. 'hammer' means, well, a hammer."

For me, when I think of 'hammer store' all that springs to mind is a goto place for the MC-Hammer related merchandise. I'd be quite confused to see any hardware or even pork products there.

Reply Score: 1

xaoslaad Member since:
2006-03-07

just call it "app depot"... done.

Reply Score: 1

Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

can't...the Home Depot folks would get angry and sue ;)

Reply Score: 2

Basic logic
by earksiinni on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:38 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

I go by the name Thom Holwerda all the time and you don't see me getting sued.

Edited 2011-03-21 23:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

apple trademark
by project_2501 on Mon 21st Mar 2011 23:45 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

I wonder if mother nature (tm) should sue apple over apples?

Reply Score: 3

Comment by roentgen
by roentgen on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:19 UTC
roentgen
Member since:
2011-02-20

Let's not forget why Windows Commander is called Total Commander now. And there's no Microsoft in there... just windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by roentgen
by WereCatf on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:21 UTC in reply to "Comment by roentgen"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Let's not forget why Windows Commander is called Total Commander now. And there's no Microsoft in there... just windows.


Yeah, I guess in the US anything is trademarkeable if you have enough money to lubricate people..

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by roentgen
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by roentgen"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

That was because they received a letter from MS - not an actual lawsuit. Not that that makes it right, but only to point out that WereCatF is still right: Microsoft Windows is a trademark. Windows isn't.

Reply Score: 3

v RE[2]: Comment by roentgen
by mrhasbean on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by roentgen"
RE[3]: Comment - prior art
by jabbotts on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 17:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by roentgen"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/mac/apples-app-store-and-a-little-...

Seems the term "App Store" in the form "Appstore" was infact used before Apple popularized it. Ye 'ole Salesforce.com actually may have made first mention of it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by roentgen
by SlothNinja on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 03:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by roentgen"
SlothNinja Member since:
2011-03-22

Actually, Microsoft has several US registered trademarks for the typed word WINDOWS for various goods and services. Registration 75980682 appears to be the registered trademark for operating systems and other types of software. US registered trademarks are easily searched at www.uspto.gov.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by roentgen
by molnarcs on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 07:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by roentgen"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

That was because they received a letter from MS - not an actual lawsuit. Not that that makes it right, but only to point out that WereCatF is still right: Microsoft Windows is a trademark. Windows isn't.

Not only that, but I think Windows itself could be a trademark. Why? Because it is an arbitrary name for an operating system. No confusion with real windows, no confusion with an other operating system. Apple is a common noun, but referring to a operating system it is unique. However, application store or app store (there is a natural tendency in English to shorten names) is... well, an app store. GOG is an app store. The android market is an app store.

Regardless of what our resident fanboy (yeah, I'm looking at you mrhasbean) says, app store is not an arbitrary name that makes app store equivalent to Apple App Store. To put it in another way, trademarking app store (which describes the functionality and purpose of the service 100%) is equivalent to trademarking webstore. Amazon is a webstore, for example (it sells stuff on the web). If Amazon trademarked Webstore, they would have been wrong, regardless of some users associating webstore with Amazon. Or another example: this is like Microsoft trademarking "Operating System" - then suing everyone who used the term.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by roentgen
by tupp on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 08:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by roentgen"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

this is like Microsoft trademarking "Operating System" - then suing everyone who used the term.

Actually, it's more like Microsoft trademarking, "Op System."

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by roentgen
by molnarcs on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 08:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by roentgen"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

"this is like Microsoft trademarking "Operating System" - then suing everyone who used the term.

Actually, it's more like Microsoft trademarking, "Op System."
"
Yeah, I see what you mean.

[nitpicking]
However, Op can made a lot of things operation, operatives, operating - and these have all been used (ie black ops). However, unlike Op, apps became the common short for applications ;)
[/nitpicking]

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by roentgen
by Sabon on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by roentgen"
Sabon Member since:
2005-07-06

"[q]this is like Microsoft trademarking "Operating System" - then suing everyone who used the term.

Actually, it's more like Microsoft trademarking, "Op System."
"
this is like Microsoft trademarking "Operating System" - then suing everyone who used the term.

Actually, it's more like Microsoft trademarking, "Op System." [/q]

Actually - no it's not. You are just so used to seeing "Microsoft Windows" that you don't realize that "windows" is just as general as "app store".

Reply Score: 2

Oh the irony...
by Troels on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:37 UTC
Troels
Member since:
2005-07-11

The company who sued people over the bullshit one click shopping patent are now being sued for breaking a bullshit trademark. I *almost* wish Amazon will lose this one.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Oh the irony...
by WereCatf on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:53 UTC in reply to "Oh the irony..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The company who sued people over the bullshit one click shopping patent are now being sued for breaking a bullshit trademark. I *almost* wish Amazon will lose this one.


Even if they deserve it I still don't wish for such. It would set a really dangerous precedent for future lawsuits. It's better for everyone if the court rules that such ridiculously generic terms simply cannot be trademarked and then sue others over.

Hell, if they actually did win this then expect a sudden surge in trademark requests for completely generic stuff, like the afore-mentioned hammer or a fork. "I have a trademark on Fork and you are selling forks, I'll sue your pants off!"

No, please no.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Oh the irony...
by Troels on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 11:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Oh the irony..."
Troels Member since:
2005-07-11

Hence the almost :-)

Reply Score: 1

Brilliant
by Boomshiki on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 00:51 UTC
Boomshiki
Member since:
2008-06-11

I am going to copyright "Corner Store"

Reply Score: 2

RE: Brilliant - you sell corn?
by jabbotts on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 17:08 UTC in reply to "Brilliant"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Or does "corner" refer to an activity I don't want to put much imagination into?

(couldn't resist. had to toss out a joke since this will get heavy enough on it's own.)

Reply Score: 2

I knew Thom will post this for sure
by Envying1 on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 01:41 UTC
Envying1
Member since:
2008-04-22

When I first saw this on Engadget after supper, the second thing is to check OSNews.com for Thom's post. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Shower
by Soulbender on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 05:25 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

I really don't need to know what you do in the shower, Thom.

Reply Score: 3

Look who's talking!
by ov1d1u on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 08:50 UTC
ov1d1u
Member since:
2009-07-07

But the "Launchpad" name isn't confusing for the users coming from Ubuntu to Mac?

Reply Score: 2

Just one question
by Glynser on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 11:49 UTC
Glynser
Member since:
2007-11-29

Has anyone of you EVER referred to some "place where you can buy apps" as an "App Store", before the iPhone came out? I might be wrong, but I'd guess not.

And I'm an Apple hater, btw.

And one more thing, about the "Windows can't be trademarked" etc. Nobody seems to understand this, but you can't e.g. trademark the word "Windows" when you're selling windows. You also can't trademark "Water" if you sell water. But if you have an OS that is called "Water", you CAN trademark it.
I heard of a computer company that trademarked the generic word "Apple". Because they're selling computers, not fruit.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Just one question
by apoclypse on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 12:42 UTC in reply to "Just one question"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

This! Before the iPhone came out I never heard any application store referred to as App Store. They were usually called something else. Considering OSX application bundles usually end with the extension .app and people call some of their applications like mail, mail.app, they may have a case. They have been using the .app extension and moniker for quite some time.

I mean does anyone here really seriously think that Amazon isn't trying to capitalize on the popularity of the name used by Apple?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Just one question
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 12:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Just one question"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I mean does anyone here really seriously think that Amazon isn't trying to capitalize on the popularity of the name used by Apple?


That doesn't change the fact that this is a retarded trademark.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Just one question
by tuzor on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 14:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Just one question"
tuzor Member since:
2007-08-07

Yeap I think the main objection here from Apple is that everyone has associated Appstore with Apple, iTunes, iOS, in general the whole ecosystem and Amazon is clearly looking to capitalise on this.

Obviously the trademark system and copyright system needs a rework urgently, this is getting out of hand but until then, I don't see this as absurd. Google used Android Market, MS used marketplace, Amazon could have used something else.

Reply Score: 1

complaint is required
by jabbotts on Tue 22nd Mar 2011 16:51 UTC
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

Even if Apple didn't want to, they would be legally obligated to persue the issue as trademark owners. Trademark owners who do not persue infringements give up ownership and right to persue further infringements.

The question may be; how much of this zeal is Apple made over other's standing to close to it's sandbox toys versus how much is due to Apple's legal obligation to persue ot give up the mark.

Granted, I'd be more sympathetic toward Apple if it was a company that demonstrated greater repect for other's trademarks rather than "oh.. that's nice.. let's take it and settle later if it turns out that they have as well a funded legal department".

Reply Score: 2

hypocrites
by unclefester on Wed 23rd Mar 2011 10:49 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

I recall that Apple Computer was sued by Apple Records way, way back in 1981. Part of that settlement was that Apple computer was not to enter the music business.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Abstract
by Abstract on Thu 24th Mar 2011 19:32 UTC
Abstract
Member since:
2009-10-24

When you hear the word "McDonald" first thing you think of is burgers, and not a farm.

Edited 2011-03-24 19:42 UTC

Reply Score: 1