Awesome, just awesome.
Microsoft has filed another legal salvo at Apple in the ongoing dust-up over whether the term "App Store" is worthy of being trademarked. Microsoft's latest argument? That the font Apple used in its response to Redmond's opposition to the trademark application was too small. Seriously. We can't make this stuff up. Microsoft …
As an employee of a law firm, I can verify that documents submitted for filing with the courts are under strict regulations with regard to typeface size and style, in addition to margin widths, document length, and even extending to line-height and number of lines allowed per page. If Apple lawyers made inappropriate choices with regard to these elements, then Microsoft is correct to point them out to the court, and the court would be obliged to either dismiss Apple's documents outright or require resubmission of same with the accepted formatting. Every lawyer doing business before a court knows, or should know, what it's document filing requirements are.
"The main body of Apple's rebuttal, for the record, is 25 pages long, the table of contents is two pages, and the table of authorities – settled cases that support Apple's rebuttal – is four pages."
Yes, for the record, it is 25 pages long. However, that's 25 pages in the smaller-than-mandated font. Change the font size back to 11 and they'll likely be over by a few pages. Margins and font size (14 vs 12 and the like) is a common way of making a college paper appear longer, hence why even profs mandate font size, type face, and margins. Break these rules and you get a FAIL, regardless of how good or close your paper was. Same principles should (and do) apply to courts. FAIL on Apple's part for their snafu. (they likely left the default font size and style on their iDoc writer. Silly them)
I once turned a 2.5 page paper into a 5 page paper...with judicious use of TeX. I probably spent more time getting the paper formatted well enough to make minimum page-count, margins, etc. than I did writing the paper itself. That was an excercise in kerning, line spacing, and other arcane arts that I no longer remember.
Anonymous because while I may be crazy, I'm not stupid.
Lindows (a Linux distribution) had to change their name merely because it "sounded" like Windows.
This was ordered by some numpty in a court.
If MS can lay claim to ownership of words that merely sound like their trademarked despite being extremely generic word then surely apple have the right to claim a much more specific phrase.
Personally I think the whole thing is bollocks, and neither of these fricking corps should be able to do what they are doing but given MS have already set the standard when it comes to trademarking generic words it comes off as a bit rich to complain when other companies do similar in an even less egregious manner than their own.
Apple haven't even got to the stage where they are complaining about soundalikes yet!
In the US the court never ruled whether it was generic or not. MS tried very hard to stop a jury having to decide whether or not 'Windows' was generic. Within days of the last appeal ruling it was a question for the jury, and that Lindows had raides substantial questions about the validity of the trademark, MS paid Lindows an estimated $20M to settle the case and change their name.
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They're generic words, but not being used for their normal meaning.
"Windows" may be a common noun, but they filed for the trademark in the context of Computer Operating Environments (As Amazon did with bookstores).
Same for "Word" (is that even the trademark, isn't it "Microsoft Word"?). And even "Excel" - a fairly common word.
They didn't try to trademark "Word Processor" or "Operating System"
"App Store" on the other hand, in the field of stores selling apps? Come on!
>>>"Windows" may be a common noun, but they filed for the trademark in the context of Computer Operating Environments (As Amazon did with bookstores).<<<
Except that X Windows existed long before Microsoft Windows and MacOS also predated MS Windows by quite a bit (MacOS had windows but the OS/environment was not referred to as Windows). MS never should have been awarded a trademark on Windows.
Then again, the US Trademark and Patent systems have been a massive joke for decades. Things awarded when either/both of obviousness and prior art tests are blatantly failed. :(
@"WTF is wrong on this planet? If only people could just learn to live together."
This Microsoft vs Apple battle is very much like two rival gangs fighting for the right to exploit a means of control over everyone else. The sad fact is, (as the news so often shows) some people seek to bully others (for their own gain). Centuries ago they would have sent in raiding parties to burn your house down and kill you. Now they can't bludgeon & kill you to get you out of their way, so they instead send in their legal attack dogs (the lawyers) to bully you into doing what they want (which is don't compete with them in any way what so ever and if you dare to compete, you get bullied out of their self-interested way and the one's with the most money and most power so often win, its why the little guy doesn't stand a chance). Microsoft vs Apple are big enough to stand up to each other so we get this court room fight. If they were up against a little guy, either of these rival gangs would just the push the little guy to one side without any trouble. It sadly comes down to rival gangs of bullies.
Thankfully not everyone behaves this way towards others. Most people have empathy towards other humans, but sadly there is enough of these self-interested bastards to make all our lives much more difficult (especially when looked at over our whole life time, because every few years we will suffer them causing us harm and seeking to hold us back for their gain) all simply because ultimately these self-interested bastards seek to push everyone else aside and back, just so they can greedily get ahead of us all in their usual self-interested ways. (Plus don't forget, the worst of them so often want to laugh at all us little people, who are not as powerful, rich and high profile as them. It just shows what bastards they are).
Which is why they fight so much over IP laws. Who owns something like a trademark then means who gets to control others who then have to seek their permission to use what they own. They as always ultimately seek control and IP law is a major present day way to control others. Trademarks & patent law are riddled with this kind of behaviour (as patent trolls so often sadly show).
IP laws are often pitched as a way to help the little guy, but the reality is it almost always plays into the hands of the big corporate gangs. One little guy with one patent or a trademark doesn't stand a chance against the powerful gangs of lawyers the corporations have. All IP law is about control and these self-interested bastards seek control of others, so its no surprise at all that they seek control via IP law. Its why all IP law is ultimately a detriment to society. They tell us its to help the little guy & for funding etc.. etc... but its not, that’s just another lie to cover up how they gain from using the law to control others for their benefit. Sadly this is holding back progress (and it gets worse the faster progress becomes). IP law is used as a means to stop people & to fine people and so ultimately to control people and sadly some people want control.
So back to @"WTF is wrong on this planet? If only people could just learn to live together." ... sadly Narcissistic self-interested people will never be fair, as they don't want fair, they are almost by definition self-interested (at the expense of everyone else, often literally). But there is hope. The more people who learn how the Narcissists behave, the more people that means who will not be their next victim and will then seek ways to stop the Narcissists and work around them, setting up their own open competing systems that undermine the control freaks. Open source is a good example of work around them, as open collaborations bypass the control freak corporations need for closed control.
Therefore we all need to fight for openness, even like in this case, open application stores not controlled by the corporations (who seek in this case, to corral people around a now well recognised name). Its all ultimately about control & their need for control and open collaborations is the solution to them. The irony is, whilst Microsoft & Apple waste time and money fighting, their biggest real threat is actually Google who are pushing the Linux based Android onto ever more devices. Linux is their biggest threat and that's open. :)
When politicians are debating, they're given a time limit. That way, they don't drivel on forever while they desperately try to cover every base. I imagine this is much the same- you've got a set limit of 30 pages to make your case. If it takes longer than that, then your case probably isn't a great one.
""APP STORE" – is used to describe Apple's online store in 88 per cent of the references found in The Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA), "an online collection of over 410 million words of popular texts."
Isn't that because Apple is the first to get a big presence with an online STORE for APPS?
COCA; hoovering up blogs and tech articles and commentard musings for your benefit and education.
He forgot about the bankers and the bureaucrats at the Ministry of Economy.
But apart from that, why not a Solomonic Judgement?
Though shalt have:
- The "APPLE APP STORE"
- The "MICROSOFT APP STORE"
This should avoid tears in the fabric of spacetime by the antipolar Jobsian and Ballmerian ego-inflation fields.
That's exactly what Microsoft are asking for!
This isn't a case of Microsoft and Apple both claiming to own the name "App Store". This case is Apple trying to claim they own it and Microsoft claiming it's a generic term for a store that sells applications.
If Apple win they get a trademark and the right to sue anyone else who calls their application store an "App Store". If Microsoft win, anyone can use the term App Store to describe their application store. Apple will be able to keep using the term Apple App Store if they loose, they just won't be able to sue Microsoft for using the term Microsoft App Store.
So there you go, Microsoft are arguing for exactly the same thing you are. Scary, isn't it? =)
It's a joke, not becoming a joke, that was many years ago, now it's just so stupid it's funny (or would be if they didn't then chase people with the power of the law).
App is a common abbreviation for application, just as "Cell" is a common abbreviation for "Cellular", and "Auto" a common abbreviation for "Automobile".
Is "Cell Phone" trademarked? Is "Auto Shop"?
Actually knowing the US they might be, but they shouldn't be! They're just descriptions of things! They can have iphone, imac, itunes because they are entirely new (contrived) words, but trademarking a totally ununique two word phrase is insanity!
They all need a good slap-down and fine from a judge with a grip to get them to grow up.
Actually, I like the idea of legalese being limited to 25 pages, or some arbitary value. It gives us mortals, still in possession of our souls, the chance to follow legal proceedings.
Now if we can just get rid of the full legalese - a bastardisation of the english language that Satan himself would be proud of - that would be great. Maybe then lawyers would be more accountable, trustworthy and transparent. But that'll require a change in the law, requiring the assistance of lawyers...
".....anything past the first window-full doesn't count....."
I see. Exactly what screen size / resolution are we talking here? It's just that the 103" Plasma in the shop down the road will perform as a computer display and I see a six-by-four-foot-scrolling-window-shaped loophole in your otherwise well-thought idea.
Since Jobs seems to have a fixation with the self-centred letter 'I' (as in me, me, me) why doesn't he just bend the dictionary again and have an iApp store.
Then the rest of the world can have their App stores which name appears to originate in some of DEC's user libraries from years ago.
But there again Jobs is famed for stealing IP, which I guess explains a lot.
In my (desperately under-financed) field, grants that could lead to major benefits for patients are routinely rebutted for that exact same reason. I don't see why Apple, who don't serve any interest but their shareholders', should get a free pass.
On a separate note, MS vs Apple, bring the heat-expanded maize seeds!
Whether you like or not trademarks and marketing are pretty important in the grand scheme of things. The wrapper, the presentation and ownership of the brand are key - even to us techies.
You just need to look at the superior technolofgies that are in the trash can because they were poorly marketed - and the cobblers that can be sold because it was done well.
When you think at how much MS rant and rave to claim their [God given?] trademark on the Windows brand, this just shows that the issue is probably a lot deeper than the App Store moniker itself.
This court case could be the foundation of a Cohen Bros. comedy!
They should specify the character set and the maximum number of characters in a legal filing. Then we'd know exactly how many possible legal filings there are. It'll be a big number, for sure, but finite, so one day they'll all have been filed and they'll be no need to file any more.
Not content with "genericness", we also have "fact-intensive assessment" inflicted upon us.
All I can suppose is that it makes a pleasant change to the usual lawyerly[*] amble through the sunlit uplands of "fact free" legal discourse.
[*] What do you mean: of course any noun can be f**kingly adverbed. It's part of my first amendment rights.
For once MS have got it right. The point of the rules is to stop lawyers from boosting their own profits by churning out enormous documents which take years to process. That would mean that court cases would last even longer and lawyers would charge even more millions of dollars. It would also usually mean that the side which could afford most lawyers would win.
And don't forget where all these millions of dollars come from - your pocket. Every time a consumer buys a new PC with pre-installed Windows or a MAC or a smartphone running Windows or an iPhone, some of the money they shell out goes to those lawyers.
If the rules really do say so, then that's fair game. There's nothing worse than someone who tries to win an argument through simply pounding you with vast amounts of text... And trying to make the text smaller to fit more into a limit is a childish way round it.
And it seems a poor tactic for Apple (TM) to make a comparison to "Windows" - in the case against Lindows, Microsoft lost the initial injuction against them on the grounds that Windows was a generic term in computing. If it ever was brought to court, there's a good chance that MS would lose.
Same for the people in these comments bringing up Windows and Word - this is the equivalent to "But Officer, those other people were speeding too". Two wrongs don't make a right.
Now seriously, if Apple (TM) decided to respond to this by challenging MS's trademark of Windows, that would be fair game. But saying that Apple (TM) should be allowed to own generic phrases, because Microsoft do, is poor logic, and just results in more corporate ownership of common phrases.
If it's not an "app store" (TM), then what word do I use?
Goat Jam: Completely false - they chose to change their name, because MS paid them. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_v._Lindows :
"The judge denied Microsoft's request for a preliminary injunction and raised "serious questions" about Microsoft's trademark. Microsoft feared that a court may define "Windows" as generic and result in the loss of its status as a trademark."
And saying they should own app store because most references apply to Apple (TM) would be ridiculous. It would mean Microsoft get to trademark "operating system", Google get to trademark "search engine" and so on.
If it's true, MS may have a point. They don't set these rules, but they've abided by them whereas Apple seems to be twisting them to get more material for arguments into play. In effect they've brought an extra weapon onto the field through manipulation, and that's procedurally not exactly fair to MS, hense the dispute. It does go both ways though, it must be equally fair to both parties.
It's also a pain for the judges. They have to read smaller font, which given the volume of reading they go through, reading smaller font for extended periods of time is a PITA, causes eyestrain, headaches, etc. Considering that they'll certainly read the briefs, probably refresh their memory on the cited case law (which can be lengthy), their clerks may have a couple academic articles on the topic, etc. It adds up. Appellate court judges can not infrequently have to read over 1000 pages per day to stay on top of their caseloads (at least where I'm from). Someone yanking them around with this kind of stuff isn't exactly appreciated, and the limits are there to prevent abuse.
If it's a mistake on the part of Apple's lawyers, it's a dumb one. They're sending docs into court, and they're paid (a lot of money) to be good at putting the best argument forward. This kind of mistake is on par with a typo, and it undermines the credibility of the argument because it looks like they didn't do their reviews. Maybe they didn't do their research as diligently as they should have etc. They *should* know better.
Hole in the wall in the UK (Barclay's bank I believe)
Ford F150 SUV vs Ferrari F150 Formula 1 car
Stelios suing anyone who uses the word "easy" in a company name
And my favourites being the amusing list of words you can't use in London in 2012. such as London, 2012, Olympics and so on.