Microsoft is taking on Apple, protesting at the latter firm’s claim to a trademark on the name ‘App Store’. Ballmer’s boys are arguing that the term is generic and competitors should be able to use it.

Apple applied for the trademark in 2008. It is to be applied in goods and services, including those for computer software solve via the Internet. The App Store is now available for iOS and OS X devices.

Microsoft filed a motion for summary judgment with the agency’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board yesterday. The Windows maker is hoping to get Apple’s trademark request denied. The status page for Apple’s trademark request says “an opposition is now pending” at the trial 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 said.

““App” is used in the trade, by the press, by relevant consumers, by Apple’s competitors and by Apple as the name for software applications, especially applications for mobile devices,” the filing also argues.

“In addition to Google’s own app marketplace, Amazon, Verizon and Vodafone have all announced that they are creating their own app stores for Android,” the filing quotes Apple CEO Steve Jobs as saying. “There will be at least four app stores on Android which customers must search through to find the app they want and developers will need to work to distribute their apps and get paid.”

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