Thanks to the European Court of Justice, Apple has another weapon in its global fight to protect its store layouts from imitation. In an earlier post we mentioned that Apple got a trademark registration for the layout of their Apple Stores. This was in the US. But now in Europe Apple has succeeded in getting a trademark registration as well.
The European Court’s judgement is the result of a legal appeal made by Apple in Germany, where its trademark application had been rejected by intellectual property office.
While the ECJ’s judgement means that retail formats are now capable of acting as trademarks, it is still up to individual countries’ authorities to make the final decision, if this is also applicable on a national level.
Although it will up to the national intellectual property office in the EU, MarkMatters.com believes that the Apple retail format is distinctive, and should be able to act as a trademark.