Apple Inc's trademark registration policy may be seen as an attempt to assert, in the field of trademark rights, the hegemony it demonstrates in the tech world generally.
Having registered iPOD, Apple has fought hard for years to secure exclusive trademark rights in the POD suffix and has been ruthless in stopping other suppliers dependent on the iPod market from using the POD syllable in their own trademarks. Apple. for instance, opposed, a major UK iPod accessories suplier from 'riding' on the iPod brand with its PODGEAR brand.
However, apparently, Apple has now recently given up on its seven-year battle to 'own' the POD suffix in the consumer technology market which will presumably mean that many applicants will now seek to apply to register POD trademarks in an attempt to piggy-back on the iPod brand.
More recently, Apple's trademarking efforts have been focused on the words APP STORE and variations and is taking Amazon to court over the Amazon Appstore.
Now Microsoft along with HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson have filed a formal application at the EU Trade Marks Register for a declaration of invalidity of Apple's APPSTORE trademark registration
They argue that that APPSTORE, like 'toy store' or 'book store', is a generic term that should continue to be available for everyone to use for stores that sell apps.
Clearly, there is much force in this argument because the word APP itself is not protected and has become totally generic.