You may recall that Apple has been trying to convince the world that there can be only one "app store," first by suggesting it really means Apple Store
and then by suing Amazon
for its own app store. Amazon has now responded to the lawsuit
by using Steve Jobs own words against him:
In 2008 Apple launched its app store, which allows a consumer to view and instantly download apps for their Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. In press releases, Apple has claimed that its app store is "the largest application store in the world." In October 2010, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs called Apple's app store "the easiest-to-use, largest app store in the world, preloaded on every iPhone."
That certainly sounds like Apple and Jobs admitting that the term is generic. To further support its own position, Amazon notes to some linguists as well:
The American Dialect Society, a leading group of U.S. linguists, recently voted "app" as the "Word of the Year" for 2010, noting that although the word "has been around for ages," it "really exploded in the last 12 months" with the "arrival of 'app stores' for a wide spectrum of operating systems for phones and computers." Indeed, the words "app store" are commonly used among many businesses competing in the app store market.
It certainly looks like Apple may have a difficult job convincing anyone that app store is not generic.