Apple gets trademark for retail store design and layout

The service mark application was filed in May 2010

Apple has been granted a service mark in the U.S. for the design and layout of its retail store, reflecting the company's interest to protect the design of its popular stores from copycat retailers.

Service marks are used to identify services in contrast with products in some countries including the U.S. The term "trademark" is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

The service mark awarded last week covers the Apple store's 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 "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,"according to the certificate of registration awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Apple said in its application in May, 2010 that it was not claiming color as a feature of the mark. The mark consists of the distinctive design and layout of a retail store, it said.

In the certificate of registration, the walls, floors, lighting, and other fixtures are not claimed as individual features of the mark. However, the placement of the various items are considered to be part of the overall mark.

Apple has had problems previously with imitation stores. In 2011, authorities in the Chinese city of Kunming stopped 22 fake Apple stores from illegally using the company's trademarks after Apple lodged a complaint with authorities. Some Kunming stores were built to closely match the decor of Apple's own official retail outlets, with employees even dressing similarly, according to photos posted by a blogger.

Trademarks registered in the U.S. may be given an international registration which serves as a means for seeking protection in member countries of the Madrid Protocol on international registration of marks, according to USPTO guidelines. Neither the Madrid Protocol nor the Madrid Agreement provide for registration of an "internationally effective" trademark. Each of the countries will apply their own rules and laws to determine whether or not the mark may be protected in their jurisdiction.

Apple's service mark bears international registration number 1060320 and U.S. registration number 4,277,914. The mark, covering retail store services, was first used by Apple and first used in commerce at least as early as September, 2006, and is now in use in such commerce, Apple said in the application.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applelegalintellectual property

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Ada Chan

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

I highly recommend the Dynabook Portégé® X30L-G notebook for everyday business use, it is a benchmark setting notebook of its generation in the lightweight category.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?