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They're not 'appy

Ooh, ello. We like a good legal spat here at Digitaledge (watching them, not participating in them), and this could be a doozy.

What do you call a program on your phone or tablet you use to download apps? An app store, right? But apart from Apple, no-one actually uses that name. Android has a 'market.' Windows Phone 7 has a 'marketplace.' This is because lawyer-loving Apple have placed an application to register 'App Store' as a trademark.

Well, Microsoft are having none of it. They've filed a motion with the US Patent and Trademark Office calling for Apple's motion to register the name to be dismissed. ''App Store' is generic for retail store services featuring apps,' Microsoft argue, which seems fair enough to us.

Amusingly, who are they quoting in support of their argument? None other than Steve Jobs. The Apple CEO referred in a much-publicised call with analysts a few months ago to the 'multiple app stores' available on Android phones, rather undermining his claim that it's not a generic term.

Whether a Microsoft victory would lead to Windows Phone 7 gaining an 'app store' to replace its 'marketplace' we don't know. But if we were Microsoft, we'd be sorely tempted to do it, just to annoy Apple...

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