What happened to the AdSense Account Stats App in the Microsoft Store?
A couple of weeks ago I was notified by Microsoft that a third party agent working on behalf of Google has lodged a claim that the title of my AdSense Account Stats App in the Microsoft Store is infringing on a Google owned trademark.
The actual app title is AdSenseAccountStats, and I guess that has the word AdSense in it. AdSense of course is indeed a Google owned trademark registered in the US, and quite possibly in many other countries. Doing the right thing, I immediately removed the app from the store listing and download.
Now, I am neither a lawyer nor an expert with regard to trademarks, but one of the main aspects when it comes to trademark infringements is about potential consumer confusion. Meaning that consumers might reasonably but incorrectly assume that a product or service is provided by the trademark owner when in reality that is not the case. Another aspect is about commerciality of the product or services infringing on a trademark.
You be the judge - is AdSenseAccountStats confusing?
Certainly a very interesting situation. My app is of course available for free so there is no commercial benefit. Additionally, Google do not have their own app in the Microsoft Store that one could use to access one's AdSense account. On Android and Apple iOS such an official Google AdSense app exists, but not for Windows mobiles. Which incidentally was the key reason I put together the app in the first place. I wanted an easy way to access my AdSense account from my Windows mobile.
As far as trademark infringement defenses go, there may be three interesting aspects here:
- No real confusion of customers - title is simply describing what the app's purpose is
- No commercial gain - the app is available free of charge and currently not ad supported
- Abandonment of the Windows mobile platform - Google not providing its own app
Either way - Stand by for re-launch
Never mind, I have neither the time nor inclination to have an argument with the third party agent, so I guess I'll just rename the app and re-publish it with a more generic name. In some ways, it is almost flattering that there is this much interest in an app I created. It makes for a good story at the pub 😀
It is going to take a little while to relaunch the app however, so don't hold your breath. There is a specific process to step through before the app can be re-enabled in the store. Legal forms to submit, authorisation to be obtained, repackaging of the app with a new title (how does AdsAccountStats sound - generic enough?), submission update to the store and ultimately making the app available for download again.
Now if only I had a little spare time to do all the above... I'll post again once the app is back and available.
'til then, have a great day.