back to article Microsoft to Apple: 'Oh, yeah? Well, your font is too small'

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 …

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Headmaster

Awesome

Awesome, just awesome.

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Rules are Rules

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.

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FAIL

Font size

"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)

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Joke

Yeah, but...

...the designers thought it looked cooler that way.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

This post has been deleted by its author

It's...

"Every lawyer doing business before a court knows, or should know, what it's document filing requirements are."

Blunders like that lead to ambiguities in your documents, me old china!

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Silver badge

Re: Font Size

But just look at that line spacing, is that defined too? If not then they could get that down to 12 pages just by writing like a normal person!

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Anonymous Coward

yeah!!!!

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.

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Coat

Re:@RobertLong

Or even better yet maybe Robert managed to get himself a two-in-one and insulted a sysadmin working on some code.

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FAIL

Well, that clears up

what was deleted by the moderator :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Yep

"Nice reading comprehension - he only mentioned *working* in a law firm."

I did read that just fine. I'm sure you think that the administrative staff in an organization bear no responsibility for the actions of their bosses, but I don't.

"It's probable you just called a coder or a sysadmin "a parasite"."

Makes no difference. Lie down with lawyers, get up with fleas.

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11

grow up

even if you think that a sys admin is responsible for the kind of people his employers are, calling him a parasite is not only rude, it's insulting and shows a distinct lack on intelligence on your part.

and since you've demonstrated how retarded you are, let me spell it out for you.

n-o-t a-l-l l-a-w-y-e-r-s a-r-e b-a-d p-e-o-p-l-e

now run home to your mother and do your homework little one.

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Silver badge

Yes, the spacing is also required.

Don't work in a law firm, but did support work for one of the local document farms. The court requirements are enough to make you yearn for The Penguin from Blues Brothers.

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Troll

Robert Long, regardless of version

"Lie down with lawyers, get up with fleas"

Sounds like his ex's divorce attorney was better than his :)

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This post has been deleted by its author

Jobs Horns

Reply from Steve Jobs

You're reading it wrong.

Sent from my iPhone

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Joke

Or...

Just use a magnifying glass, no big deal.

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Paris Hilton

#winning

Only mr sheen couldve thought that up.

Sheen icon needed. Paris used instead.

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FAIL

Microsoft claims "App store" is a generic...

... while of course, "Word" and "Windows" and not generic at all, no no...

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no

But I've never seen a product called word or windows. I've seen Microsoft windows , Microsoft windows 95 ,Microsoft windows 98, Microsoft windows 2000, Microsoft windows XP.

I've seen MS word oh and Word perfect.

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Anonymous Coward

no...

You've not seen a product called Microsoft Windows - what you've seen is called Microsoft® Windows®. (hint: that's two separate trademarks - "Windows" is trademarked).

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Bub

But Microsoft does consider just "Windows" a trademark

See http://www.microsoft.com/about/legal/en/us/IntellectualProperty/Trademarks/Usage/Windows.aspx

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Re:

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!

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Word and Excel

"Word" is not a registered trademark. "Excel" is.

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Gates Horns

Lindows

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!

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Remember the Beatles...

Apple Corps and Apple Computer (now Apple Inc.) over competing trademark rights?

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Windows and Trademark

>>>"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. :(

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Anonymous Coward

It's not "X Windows"...

IIRC it's called the x-window system (all lower case, hyphenated and singular). Makes no difference to me but I've seen various unix experts get quite picky about this. Is "x-window" trademarked?

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Stop

Within the context of computing

I'd heard of Windows (as in WIMP - Windows, Icon, Menu, Pointer) waaay before I'd heard of Microsoft Windows.

I'd never heard of an "app store" before Apple made one. I still don't think they should get a trademark on it though.

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jai
Silver badge

@kain preacher "never seen a product called windows"

Really? I've got loads at home. I use it to let outside light in so that I don't have to keep the lights on all the time during the day.

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Anonymous Coward

MS paid Lindows ~$20M to drop the case

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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Silver badge

Yes, and the clerks and judges who foist this injustice upon us

should be thrown into the belly of a Tatooine desert beast.

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Seriously...

WTF is wrong on this planet?

If only people could just learn to live together.

What a waste of space and oxygen lawyers are and, for that matter, the companies that employ them.

Twats of such a high order that I doubt even the scientologists could better them.

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Sadly the business world is infested by these kinds of people

@"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. :)

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Grenade

7 Paragraphs

7 paragraphs - I was just too lazy to read it.

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Headmaster

A fast one...

This probably didn't come as a suprice to apple except that they probably didn't expect to be cought by it. A big deal in legal cases is to follow the rules, and when you don't, don't expect to be given leevay.

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Settle it quickly Apple

Just trademark "Crapp Store"

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Actually makes sense... sort of

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.

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Alert

There's litigation for that...

The lawyers get richer.

They buy expensive sports cars with their bonus checks.

The economy bounds skywards.

Yay \o/

That's the way stimulus packages SHOULD work. :P

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Silver badge

We all play a part in definitions - It seems

""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.

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COCA

I just had a look through COCA, and most of the references specifically say "Apple's app store" or "the iTunes app store" - which seems to me to imply that it's sufficiently generic to need qualification. Possible own goal there.

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Stop

88% are the apple store

Which means 1 in 8 references are generic, or about a different store, which to my mind should be enough to prevent them getting a blanket trademark.

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Silver badge

Nope.

Oh well.. If a blog scraper says it's true.. then it must be..

iTwit.

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Welcome

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

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.

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Alien

Don't be silly.

You see what you're doing there is applying logic. Hahahahahaha what were you thinking??

Alien, because that's exactly what the concept of logic is to these numpties, alien.

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Jobs Horns

Ummmm...

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? =)

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Silver badge

True..

It seems to be happening more often these days.. Most disconcerting.

Apple.. true to form. Grandstanding and self entitled, with the fanboy hoards arguing all kinds of nonsense in support.

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Anonymous Coward

Fixed Sys

I once had a requirement expressed in the number of pages and font size, but the font was not specified so I submitted in in Fixed Sys

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