In some bad news for Apple, Australia’s Federal Court has rejected an appeal by the company to trademark the term “App Store.”
In a ruling made Wednesday, judge Justice Yates dismissed Apple’s case and ordered it to pay the court costs of Registrar of Trade Marks.
Apple has been locked in a long-standing tug of war with Oz’s Registrar of Trade Marks over whether it should have ownership over the term it popularized on Mac and iOS. The company first took the registrar to court in March 2013, after the “App Store” trademark was revoked following its initial accepted. Since then, Apple has lost a total of three appeals: firstly by the trademark examiner, then by the Australian Trade Marks Office, and now today’s ruling.
Apple counsel had argued that although the term “app” existed before Apple sought to trademark “App Store” in 2008, Apple changed the definition of the word through the release of the iPhone.
The judge, however, disagreed. “Apple has not established that, because of the extent to which it has used the [trade]mark before the filing date, it does distinguish the designated services as being Apple’s services,” Justice David Yates said.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has also stirred the pot by objecting to Apple owning the trademark.
Today’s ruling doesn’t stop Apple from continuing to use the App Store name in Australia, but it does mean that it can’t bar any competitors in the country from using the same term.
Weirdly, Apple does still own the trademark “Appstore” (with no spaces) in Australia, and can restrict others from using it.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald