NPR : News

Filed Under:

What's Next, A Patent For The Lines Around Apple Stores?

Officially as of last week, there's nothing quite like Apple's stores. After an array of patents of its products, Apple has decided to go whole hog and trademark its minimalist store design. The trademark was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 22, Reuters reported.

The trademark's description includes the glass storefront windows, "surrounded by a paneled facade" and the signature "oblong table with stools ... set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall."

According to the Patent and Trademark Office, Apple began the process of patenting the design of its 250 U.S. stores and those in a dozen other countries in May 2010.

"After being rejected twice by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which claimed the store design was not 'inherently distinctive,' Apple submitted additional materials and drawings, and gained the trademark on its mall-centric, rectangular store layouts," Wired reported.

Even though it seems overprotective of an image, Apple isn't the first tech giant to acquire a trademark for its store design — Microsoft did it for its stores in 2011.

Apple also has good reason to be paranoid. Last year, a fake Apple store cropped up in China that "looked so authentic, even the upbeat salespeople thought they were working for Apple."

When it was discovered the store was selling Apple products, Chinese authorities ordered the store closed, as well as 20 other bootleg retailers.

What will Apple trademark next?

Lizzy Duffy is an intern on NPR's Social Media Desk.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Costume Designer Colleen Atwood Took Unlikely Path To Hollywood Royalty

Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood knows tough times. A single mom at 17 who once worked at a French fry factory to make ends meet is Hollywood royalty today. A favorite of director Tim Burton, Atwood is now costume designer for his adaptation of the darkly comic, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and the upcoming Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
NPR

Carnegie Deli Says It Is Closing Down Its Landmark NYC Restaurant

As news of the closing rippled far beyond the deli's home turf in Manhattan Friday, hundreds of people responded with sadness and disbelief.
NPR

The VA Will Now Pay For Fertility Treatment For Wounded Vets

Congress has reversed a law passed in 1992 that prohibited the Department of Veterans Affairs from paying for IVF for veterans and their families, after mounting political pressure.
NPR

The United Nations Is Launching A Space Mission

The U.N. is planning to send its first spacecraft into orbit, packed with scientific experiments from countries that can't afford their own space programs.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.