No copying Apple stores
We all know that Apple vigorously defends its patents and trademarks for its products such as the iPhone and iPad. The company is also extending its trademark reach into its retail environment. The US patent and trademark office has granted Apple a trademark on the design and layout of its retail stores. Trademarking a design and layout for a store seems strange to me.
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The trademark description covers the clear glass storefront and panel front façade along with oblong tables with stools similar video screens that are flush mounted to the back wall. This would mean that anyone in the US that tries to go and copy Apple's retail stores will be hit with fierce legal ninjas from Apple.
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Apple also has a patent on the floating glass staircase that is used in some Apple retail stores around the country. Interestingly, that patent lists Steve Jobs as an inventor. The trademark application for the design and layout of retail stores was filed in May of 2010 but not approved until January 22 of this year.