Apple kept schtum for a while following Microsoft's motion to dismiss its attempted trademarking of the term "App Store", but has now hit back at its big rival with a statement of its own, in which it accuses Microsoft of "missing the forest from the trees".

The legal document claims that Microsoft should no better than to claim generic grounds for its opposition "having itself faced a decades-long genericness challenge to its claimed Windows mark".

It states that "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" and that "what it offers instead are out-of-context and misleading snippets of material printed by its outside counsel from the internet and allegations regarding how the public allegedly interprets the constituent parts of the term App Store, i.e., 'app' and 'store'".

Apple also calls on "a renowned linguistics expert", Dr. Robert Leonard to explain the term App Store as if the Microsoft lawyers were school kids in need of an English lesson.

It's all very tit-for-tat and can probably only be settled in the traditional Harry Hill way, but we can't see anyone on the Apple board willing to go toe-to-toe with the Steve "the bald bomber" Ballmer in the ring.

What do you think? Is Microsoft being petty? Or has Apple gone too far trying to trademark the words "app store"?