Microsoft hopes to prevent Apple from owning the term "App Store" so it can sell apps aplenty of its own.
In 2008, Apple filed for a trademark on the name "App Store," which is the title of its popular digital distribution storefront for iOS platforms like the iPhone and iPad that also recently launched for Mac OS X. Microsoft has put a plan in motion to stop Apple from acquiring a trademark on this term, saying that it's too common for any one company to own.
Microsoft filed a motion with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's appeal board that asks Apple be denied the "App Store" trademark. The motion claims that "app" and "store" are both generic terms that refer to a piece of software and the place goods are bought. Microsoft also cites an interview with Steve Jobs where he says that other companies are launching their own "app stores," making the term out to be more than a single entity's.
The Windows developer made a statement that reads: "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."
The bid is likely related to Microsoft's launch of Windows Phone 7, its own mobile platform. Microsoft might want to use the term "App Store" to make the Windows Phone Marketplace more appealing to consumers.
Apple is definitely responsible for the widespread use of "App Store," but Microsoft has a point that "app" is a pretty generic term as the shortened version of "application." In a way, granting Apple a trademark for "App Store" seems like granting a butcher a trademark for "Meat Store."
Source: PC World