Retail stores become a trademark

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Apple a rather curious trademark. It’s not a name or a logo, rather a store design.

The trademark n. 85036990 consists of the layout of an Apple retail store with even wood tables, steel panels and glass windows.

It’s likely that Apple convinced the Office that such a structure would be immediately recognizable and that it’d create in the consumer’s mind a direct link to the Cupertino company. It’s possible that they used this to support the fact that the particular distribution of the furniture and shop windows constitute a trademark.

This trademark will strengthen Apple’s protection even if it’s hard to estimate what consequences this will have in other countries, especially in China where Apple stores clones seem to be quite spread.

Defending a store’s layout has always been a complex matter. Generally owners try to obtain this protection by using Copyright laws or its design. The protection offered by this trademark is certainly original.