Apple Trademarks Retail Store Design

May 18, 2010

Just a week before the ninth birthday of Apple’s retail stores, attorneys for the company filed applications to trademark the stores’ design, including the gray stainless steel and the light-brown wood of the display tables. “The mark consists of distinctive design and layout of a retail store,” state the applications filed May 12th by attorney Lisa Widup. There are two versions of the trademark application, one describing the store in color and the other one in black-and-white. “The mark was first used at least as early as 09/00/2006, and first used in commerce at least as early as 09/00/2006.” The date refers to the grand opening date of The Mall in Columbia (Md.) store, which was the first with an all-glass and stainless steel façade, stainless steel interior walls, backlit wall graphics and stone floor. Download (pdf) the two trademark applications.

In reality, the design now being trademarked dates to October 2004 when Apple opened the first of its mini-stores. which debuted the stainless steel interior.

These two graphics of the Apple store design were submitted with the trademark applications.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott Rose May 18, 2010 at 2127

This is no doubt in response to Microsoft blatantly ripping off the look & feel of Apple’s stores, which brings down the value of every Apple Store in the world. Has Microsoft ever done one original thing in the entire history of their company?

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ZoetMB May 25, 2010 at 0836

I think this is absurd. The Apple Store has teak-colored wooden parsons tables sitting usually on grey concrete or grey tiles. That is much too generic a physical concept to get a trademark on. Apple did not invent the parsons table, grey tables or back-lighted colored signs on the walls.

The stores are largely very nice and Microsoft and others will copy them, but so what? It’s like fashion. In the end, it’s the products that count.

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