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Wednesday, March 09, 2011, 04:40 pm PT (07:40 pm ET)

Microsoft complains font is too small on Apple "App Store" trademark brief

Microsoft has filed a motion to strike Apple's latest legal brief because the font is too small in a dispute over the iPhone maker's application to trademark the term "App Store."

According to a motion filed earlier this week, Microsoft has requested that a court brief recently filed by Apple be dismissed because of length and font size, GeekWire reports. At 31 pages, Apple's brief exceeds the 25 page limit. Microsoft also claims the brief does not meet the minimum 11 point font size.

In the motion, Microsoft asked for Apple's response brief to be stricken and for the Cupertino, Calif., company to refile a brief "that complies with the rules and does not add any new matter or arguments."

Microsoft may be looking to buy more time for its countering brief, as the motion requests the briefing schedule be suspended while Apple prepares its corrected response brief.

At issue is whether Apple has the right to trademark the term "App Store." Apple filed for the trademark in 2008 after the launch of the iPhone App Store. In January of this year, a Microsoft filing surfaced revealing that the Redmond, Wash., software giant had opposed Apple's trademark application on the grounds that the term was too generic.

"'App' is a common generic name for the goods offered at Apple’s store, as shown in dictionary definitions and by widespread use by Apple and others," Microsoft wrote in its request for summary judgment. "'Store' is generic for the 'retail store services' for which Apple seeks registration, and indeed, Apple refers to its 'App Store' as a store."

Apple responded earlier this month with the brief in question, arguing that the term "App Store" is no more generic than Microsoft's "Windows" trademark.

"Having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed WINDOWS mark, Microsoft should be well aware that the focus in evaluating genericness is on the mark as a whole and requires a fact-intensive assessment of the primary significance of the term to a substantial majority of the relevant public," Apple wrote in the brief.

The case will be decided by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.