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Microsoft Fights Apple's Pettiness With Pettiness

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Apple is a lot of things: innovative, stylish, an unparalleled marketing machine. But when it comes to frivolous lawsuits and petty trademark disputes, it's anything but noble.

Seemingly on a monthly basis, Cupertino fights to claim common words, phrases, logos, and products -- of which apply to a number of parties and copyrights -- solely as its own. Even when it's been beaten to the punch, Apple wants to take its ball and go home.

And in typical Apple fashion, the company is attempting to trademark another common phrase: "app store." Last month, Apple filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the broad and generic term. Here is the form, courtesy of Geekwire.

But in trying to rein in Apple's pettiness, Microsoft has become just as petty.

As reported by Geekwire's Todd Bishop, Microsoft is disputing Apple's trademark attempt by claiming the company's latest filing violated court rules. Why? The font was too small.

"Apple's response brief is 31 pages, including the table of contents and table of authorities, and on information and belief is printed in less than 11 point font," reads the filing. "Under the rules, Apple's brief cannot exceed 25 pages in its entirety, including the table of contents and table of authorities, and must be printed in at least 11 point font."

As such, Microsoft is urging that the trademark court require Apple to refile a new claim, one that "complies with the rules and does not add any new matter or arguments."

Well, in the company's defense, this isn't the first time Microsoft has tried to be more like Apple.

(See also: Does Apple Have a Trademark Dispute in Its Near Future?, Apple Demands Exclusive Rights to 'Pod', and Is Apple Prepared to Sue Sesame Street?)
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.