SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones)--Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) have both hired linguists to serve as experts in the tech titan's ongoing battle over whether or not the government can grant a trademark for the term "app store."
Microsoft on Tuesday filed its latest argument with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which included the opinions of a linguistic expert who supported the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's argument that the term "app store" was generic and shouldn't be trademarked by Apple.
"The compound noun app store means simply 'store at which apps are offered for sale,' which is merely a definition of the thing itself--a generic characterization," linguist Ronald Butters wrote.
Microsoft hired Butters to counter Apple's own linguistic expert, Robert Leonard, who asserted that the electronics giant's "App Store" was a proper noun and deserved to be trademarked, even though the words are generic when separated. Leonard was paid $350 per hour for his services while Butters was paid $400 per hour for his, according to the filings.