Jan 30 2013, 2:41am CST | by Mark Raby
Apple has successfully been awarded a trademark for the layout and design of its Apple Store retail stores. The trademark assures that no other company will try to emulate the very unique structure and feng shui of the company's retail empire.
Among the language of the trademark are the lines, "The store features a clear glass storefront surrounded by a paneled facade consisting of large, rectangular horizontal panels over the top of the glass front, and two narrower panels stacked on either side of the storefront," and:
"There are cantilevered shelves below recessed display spaces along the side walls, and rectangular tables arranged in a line in the middle of the store parallel to the walls and extending from the storefront to the back of the store."
Of course, over in China, creating fake Apple Stores became a passion among highly creative and talented businessmen in the region. They copied everything from the giant Apple logo out front to the placement of tables and shelves to look just like what you'd find in a real Apple Store. They were even packed with fake Apple mockup products, and staffed by employees wearing what appeared to be official Apple Store shirts but were also fake.
Now obviously, that kind of blatant ripoff would never happen in the US even without a trademark. And of course, a US trademark doesn't do anything to help Apple stop the activity in China. In other words, the trademark is probably not going to do much good to Apple in the long run.
Even if it does come across a store that seemingly mimicks its design, it could go to court where the validity of the trademark would be called into question. Could someone with no knowledge of Apple's store design have come up with the same idea? If so, Apple might have a tough time proving actual damages.
After all, the trademark was previously rejected not once but two times, before it was finally tweaked and given an approval. So its foundation is shaky at best.
But this is Apple. Perhaps its primary purpose for getting this trademark was just to brag to the world that its stores are unique.
Via Business Insider
With more than 10 years as a professional writer, Mark Raby has an undeniable pulse on the latest trends. From the quiet rumors to the breaking news of the day, his eagle eye is always focused on the newest scoop and figuring out how and why the big newsmakers are noteworthy and relevant. He is based in New York City.
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