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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?