Apparently not satisfied with its dominion over round-cornered rectangles, Apple Inc. has now trademarked the design of its stores.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the tech giant’s 2010 request for trademarks on design elements such as “a clear glass storefront surrounded by a paneled façade” and an “oblong table with stools … set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall.”
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was famously involved in nearly every detail of the company’s retail stores, and held patents on features such as the stores’ floating glass staircases. Competitors have occasionally copied these features: In 2011, a blogger posted photos of a fake Apple store in the Chinese city of Kunming, one of several in the area that sold Apple products without the company’s permission. Chinese authorities later ordered the closure some of those locations.
Apple’s trademark does not apply outside of the U.S., but companies that apply for trademarks domestically often seek similar protection internationally, a source tells Thomson Reuters.
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