How Steve Jobs Got The AppStore.com Domain and Trademark For Free

By on August 26, 2011
steve-jobs-app-store

I’m sure you’ve all heard about Steve Jobs resigning as CEO of Apple. Today, I read a post that stood out among the sea of farewells and Apple nostalgia. I really didn’t think I would be writing a post about Steve Jobs myself, but this is a great look at the impact domains, especially generic brands, can have on business.

The Next Web shared the interesting story of how Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, gave a very special gift to Steve Jobs as thanks for his influence and sage advice.

In 2003, Benioff brought a few members of his executive team to visit Steve Jobs. The words of wisdom he would receive turned out to have profound implications for both Salesforce and Apple.

“You have a fantastic enterprise application here, but you’ve got to build an ecosystem.”

The Salesforce.com team took the advice to heart and developed a new technology called “App Store”, where users could buy enterprise applications and run them within Salesforce.

The project ended up launching under a different name, “App Exchange.” But, Benioff liked the App Store name so much that he purchased the domain name AppStore.com and corresponding trademark.

Years later, in 2008, Benioff was in the audience when Steve Jobs announced his own App Store. After the announcement, Benioff went up to Steve Jobs and offered the AppStore.com domain and the trademark rights as a gift, in appreciation of his help in 2003.

Apple now defends the trademark in court and uses the powerful generic brand to reign-supreme over other application platforms. Now that is a domain that is truly priceless.

AQDN.com

About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.
  • Troy

    Thanks Mark. Good story!

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    Great story thank you Mark.

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    Thanks for sharing this great story! :)

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    Thanks for sharing this great story! :)

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    Hi Mark,

    I know this story, good of you to write it on your blog. We seriously thought about contacting MS when we found out they were suing Apple about using “Appstore.com”.

    We were going to tell Microsoft “Hey, stop wasting attorney fees on that hopeless cause, and just buy CellphoneApps.com to get the top generic domain for the category.”

    We didn’t though, because we’re Apple fans, and users. If MS wants the domain CellphoneApps.com, they know how to contact us. If not, we’re paying 15% to anyone who can connect us with the right person at MS, and the sale is made. Right now, I think the domain is up for sale on the Future Trend Domain Auction™ for $50,000 reserve. Yipes!

  • LeadTrader

    I thought AppStore was ruled to be trademark free with the Amazon decision recently?
    http://allthingsd.com/20110707/app-store-opinion/

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    I think in the court of common sense, no one should own the term ‘app’ or ‘app store’. Perhaps I’m either in the minority, or I just wouldn’t hold up in court.

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    Interesting. I wonder how the corporate tax man valued such “gifts” as ‘App Store’ and ‘AppStore.com’, with so much intrinsic values,  between the two companies?

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    I think in the court of common sense, no one should own the term ‘app’
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    I heard he is really sick and could die anytime :(

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    This is amazing to know about steve jobs, i dint know about him. After getting the domain they have made a lot of progress.

  • Cm

    Nice story!!!

    Have you checked out steve jobs app in app store??? With quotes and trivia!
    It’s nice :)

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    I think in the court of common sense, no one should own the term ‘app’
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    It was Steve Jobs’s big decision to quit as a CEO. Well, he
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    Steve Jobs is very clever man! Video is good!

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    I guess Steve Jobs had a great slice of luck in business as well as being good at what he did. Thanks for the post Mark

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    Thank you for sharing this story.It’s very sad to hear about Steve Jobs,on my opinion he was the hurt of the Apple.

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    RIP Steve Jobs.
    He was a great man…