Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 12:20 UTC
Legal This make me a sad little facepalming unicorn. Apple has just slapped the open source home server project Amahi with a cease and desist letter about the project's use of the term 'app store' - stop using the term, or face Cupertino's army of lawyers. Note: Please help me find out what 'Mac App' is, a supposed Apple product from 1985 - the first citation of the term 'app' in the Oxford English Dictionary. Another note: Okay I should've guessed that publications from that time could still correct company's horrid camel case spelling without unleashing the wrath of fanboys - it's MacApp, not Mac App. Gra├žias, guys!
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RE: WTF Apple?
by Mexicali100 on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 15:28 UTC in reply to "WTF Apple?"
Mexicali100
Member since:
2009-10-15

How soon we forget. Before Apple's app store, we used to call this stuff programs, software, and sometimes (but rarelyu) applications. Did the term "app" exist before Apple coined it? I don't recall ever using the term app prior to Apple's use of it. Not defending Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: WTF Apple?
by WereCatf on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 15:30 in reply to "RE: WTF Apple?"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

How soon we forget. Before Apple's app store, we used to call this stuff programs, software, and sometimes (but rarelyu) applications. Did the term "app" exist before Apple coined it? I don't recall ever using the term app prior to Apple's use of it. Not defending Apple.


I remember using the term regularly as far back as '96, so yeah..

Reply Parent Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Before apple, it was very common to call "applications" "apps" for short. "What apps you got installed?"

For things like the java "apps", it would be short for "applets" since they are applet bundles that run inside a given sandbox. Android applets, Iphone applets, java applets.. all commmonly shortened to "apps"

Maybe it's ok to have "apps" just so long as you don't have a "store" from which users download said apps lest you step on the toes of the blatantly obvious "app store" trademark.

Since the potential defendent is an OSS project, they could see about help from the Freedom Law Center (thin that's the correct FSF affiliate). It'd be nice to see case law invalidate Apple's "app store" trademark.

Reply Parent Score: 5

Mexicali100 Member since:
2009-10-15

So you used "apps" when referring to iphone apps, android apps, smart phone apps ? You're not proving your point with that explanation. But from other's comments it looks like some people from the developer community have used the term. The rest of the world actually did hear it from Apple.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: WTF Apple?
by molnarcs on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 15:55 in reply to "RE: WTF Apple?"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

I definitely used apps back when Apple was being bailed out by Microsoft. It's shorter than either programs or applications - I even have an old CD labeled APPS from the end of the 90s. It's a Kodak CD and it still works - back then CDs were expensive but were built to last. And store is a store is a store. So yeah, they are trademarking the most straightforward way to name a place where you can buy thousands of apps.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: WTF Apple?
by molnarcs on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 16:12 in reply to "RE: WTF Apple?"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

The Oxford Dictionary has a pretty strict criteria for letting new words in. Usually they wait for about 5 years to see that it will stuck or just disappear. And obviously, the word must have a wide-spread use.

I just checked. The word app entered the Oxford Dictinary in 2001.

http://www.oed.com/page/update0109/September+2001+Update

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: WTF Apple?
by Alfman on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 19:52 in reply to "RE: WTF Apple?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Mexicali100,

"Did the term "app" exist before Apple coined it?"

Yes, the term "App" is not only an obvious abbreviation for application, but it was in use prior to apple's campaign.

I regularly burned "app backup" CDs back in the 90s.

On a commercial level, it's rather difficult to search yesterday's web using today's search engines, however there still are some records of the term being used generically as an abbreviation for application.

I did a search on the internet archive, and I came up with lots of hits for the term "app" used in the marketing for all kinds of software including palm software from the 90s.


http://www.archive.org/details/tucows_207109_App_Optimizer

http://www.archive.org/details/tucows_207277_Default_App

http://www.archive.org/details/tucows_34184_App_Hack

http://www.archive.org/details/tucows_32458_App_Switch

http://www.archive.org/details/tucows_33545_LCPQA_Left_Coast_Punk_Q...

http://www.archive.org/details/tucows_54393_TeeMaster_Wireless_Golf...

Apple's use is clearly not original, and frankly if we could go back and search the internet as it was a decade ago, I'm sure we could come up with a lot more examples.

It's ridiculous for apple to sue others over such a generic term, especially when jobs himself was caught using the term generically.

Still, given how brazenly corrupt US courts have become, I wouldn't be surprised if they end up selling out public interests again. All hail the corporate overlords.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: WTF Apple?
by David on Wed 22nd Jun 2011 23:35 in reply to "RE: WTF Apple?"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

People have been using the term "killer app" since the eighties. So the word app as abbreviation for application has been around a while.

Reply Parent Score: 2