Is This a Fight Apple is Destined to Lose?

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has closed its opposition to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) app store trademark filing, though Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will continue to contest it. According to a filing in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s database, the opposition has until January 13, 2013 to explain why Apple’s app store trademark application should be denied, Patently Apple said.

Last week, Amazon.com asked a U.S. federal judge to throw out Apple’s claim in a lawsuit that challenged the online retailer for using the app store name. Apple had sued Amazon in March 2011, accusing it of misusing the name to attract developers and users to its software download service. Amazon said in its filing with the U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, that the term “app store” had become too generic for it to be trademarked.

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Microsoft first filed its opposition to Apple’s trademark application last year, saying the term did not qualify for trademark status. “What do people call Apple’s and its competitors’ stores as a group, or genus?” Microsoft wrote in its filing. “To find that, you need to look where people talk about multiple stores, not just Apple’s. And when you look there, you find them called ‘app stores.’”

Apple has been trying to trademark the phrase since 2008, when it launched the marketplace for mobile software applications. HTC and Sony (NYSE:SNE) are other companies opposing the iPhone maker’s application.

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