What has Apple got in Store?

The Apple Store: minimalistic design, a lot of free space and very recognisable. The competition may be very eager to copy this retail formula. But they aren’t allowed to. Are they?

Yesterday Apple got a trademark registration for the layout of an Apple Store. Basically the trademark consist of  a three dimensional reproduction, depicting the large tables in the well known setup.

Normally you would expect the distinctive layout of a store to be protected by copyright or even design rights. Although trademark protection is possible – as this US trademark registration demonstrates – the question remains whether such a registration will prove useful in real, legal life. In case of an infringement, the infringing store layout should be compared with the trademark as registered. Slight changes, e.g. different light setup, no visuals on the walls, will most likely render it not similar to Apple’s trademark.

What if a similar Windows Store would appear? Oh wait, it already has! Is this the reason behind Apple’s trademark?

Apple didn’t get a registration for “AppStore”, their online store. MarkMatters.com will wait and see if Apple will use their newly registered trademark in the future.

Erwin Hauër

“Hope is not a strategy.”

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