Microsoft is hoping to block Apple's trademarking of the term "App Store", arguing that the name has become generic and that its rival is attempting to "usurp" the phrase from general use. Apple had filed for the App Store trademark back in July 2008, the same year it launched the on-device software download service for the iPhone; the status page for the filing currently states that "an opposition is now pending at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board."
"App store' is a generic name that Apple should not be permitted to usurp for its exclusive use. Competitors should be free to use 'app store' to identify their own stores and the services offered in conjunction with those stores" Microsoft
Microsoft also argues that even Apple CEO Steve Jobs has used the term generically, citing an interview in which the exec said "Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android." The company is among competitors including Google, RIM, Palm and Samsung which have launched app stores of their own; however, all have been forced to use different names for their download systems.
That, Microsoft claims, is because Apple's legal team fires out warning letters in which the company "asserts that such uses are infringements of its rights and it has sent demand letters to companies using 'App Store' in their names."
[via PC World]