Apple trademarks its store design

From a recent RetailWire panel discussion: Apple recently received patent approval for its store design, ranging from design elements like logos and flooring to the arrangement of shelves and rectangular tables in the store. Here’s my comment:

It’s hard to know whether Apple was motivated (as the article suggests) by extension of trademark rights to other countries, or to prevent “copycat” merchandising here in the U.S. However, there’s some overreach involved in extending the patent to the linear arrangement of tables and the configuration of the shelves. Does Apple really intend to sue a customer like Best Buy (who has a lot to learn from Apple), or is this targeted more directly at competitors like Microsoft with “me-too” retail store designs?


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