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back to article We're not making this up: Apple trademarks the SHOP

After trademarking the leaf and patenting the rectangle, Apple has outdone itself by trademarking the shop. The US Patent and Trademark office last week granted Apple's application to trademark a retail store featuring computers. It is the "distinctive design and layout" that Apple now holds the unique design rights to, thanks …

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Facepalm

Copying

After reading the comments here, and all over the Reg. actually, I pose a question.

Did all these commentards who regularly post positively about one company copying another or negatively about a company trying to protect themselves from a competitor copying their products, also copy on their exam papers?

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Re: Copying

the exams were done in a long room with rows of rectangular tables parallel to the walls

oh, wait .......

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Anonymous Coward

@Philip Lewis

Yes. The information required to successfully construct the answers to the exam questions came almost directly from lessons. Those lessons were a copy of what the tutors had done in industry. The industry innovated or copied previous attempts to get what they need to be in industry.

Nothing new is created. It is all a continuing development of old ideas. Banning people from the old ideas stops development.

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Re: Copying

To be honest Philip, I think most of the comments you refer to are just the bit of our brains that wants to belong to a tribe taking over.. .Triabalism in Nationalism, Sporting teams, and now brands...

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Pint

Re: @Philip Lewis -@AC

Brilliant answer, AC! I can only upvote once, but have a beer on me!

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This is very, very, generous of Apple as by providing ...

plans all the knock off stores in countries that don't recognise / accept stupid patents can happily copy the Apple concept so they can have a knock off store selling knock off products.

Way to go Apple.

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Some people wonder

Some people wonder why Apple is not popular with everyone !!!!

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JDX
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Re: Some people wonder

Who is popular with everyone?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some people wonder

So you go with Apple who trademark it or the people who copy it??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Some people wonder

"Who is popular with everyone?"

Eadon?

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Re: Some people wonder

David Attenborough is popular with everyone I know.

I'd vote for him, for pretty much anything he stood for, if I could.

Even the population limiting thing sounds like a good idea when he says it. Especially if there's a meerkat on his head.

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FAIL

Re: Some people wonder

but the apple shop is not innovative, it is practical. It has tables with an aisle to walk down and recessed stock.

I went to jumble sales in church halls that had a similar layout because it was practical. I have been to libraries that are also similarly laid out because it is practical. Anywhere that you need to have stock in the wall or demonstration devices laid out have had a similar layout. If a store is bigger then you can have multiple sections laid out the same.

It is an idiotic thing to trademark. The irony is, not all apple stores look like this anyway!

Shanghai doesnt. Grand central? Nope. For a small pokey shop then yes, it will work because it is practical. As can be seen by just about ANY small shop. Apple have simply copied what people have been doing for years and years. Whitewashed it and called it an innovation.

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Re: Some people wonder

Attenborough is not popular with Bellamy.

There's a bit of bitterness there as Bellamy aired his honest opinions that Global Warming was a load of tosh and was never asked to make another TV show...

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Anonymous Coward

Please Jobs

Time to rise from your grave and put a stop to this.

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Re: Please Jobs

If he actually does rise from the grave it would be absolute pandemonium, Apple would change its status from cult to religion, many current religious fanatics would start to wonder if they should switch over to Apple, current fanbois would be even more insufferable (as if that's even possible), and a lot of us would in unison say "Oh fuck..."

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Stop

Re: Please Jobs

He started it!

Beggars belief really, apple customers must surely start to be wondering if their choice of shiny, really warrants coming from a company who are in reality, just a saccharine soaked marketing mouthpiece with a penchant for excessive pecuniary.

Fuck apple longtime & not in a nice way, they need to find reality if they want to halt the slide their currently accelerating down.

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Gold badge

Re: Please Jobs

Time to rise from your grave and put a stop to this.

I'm afraid he's too busy spinning in it..

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Re: Please Jobs

Fiat pecunia quis custidiet custards

Or something like that.

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Re: Please Jobs

" Time to rise from your grave and put a stop to this."

Great, then they can sue Jesus for inventing the resurrection.

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FAIL

It's articles and comment threads like this that remind me precisely why I stopped reading. Where are the article down-vote buttons?

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Paradox

I am confused.

Possibly not as confused as you seem to be, but still confused.

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WTF?

How do you know what the article and comments are about if you've stopped reading?

And, for that matter, stopping reading seems a bit drastic because you didn't like a couple articles on a website. You should still consider reading books, newspapers, magazines, road signs...

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Anonymous Coward

It's over between us

Dear Apple,

…I’m not really sure how to begin this. Maybe if I start with how we first met, it might help to clarify my thought and feelings a little and revive something of my former respect and dare I say love for you.

Do you remember those heady days? The clutching grip of Microsoft was in everything and everywhere. Almost every computer task I undertook was ounctuated by the phrase “fucking Windows”. The neighbours must have thought I was some kind of window-fixated sex pervert.

I didn’t really know much about you at the time and you didn’t really know much about me either. I sometimes saw you flirting with the artsy crowd but apart from a few idle thoughts, I didn’t really see you at all.

Then digital music happened. I was one of the first people at college to get a Rio PMP 300, with a whopping 16Mb MMC card. It was neat, it was a novelty but far to small for my needs.

And then you appeared with the iPod.

It was beautiful. It was shiny, solid, well engineered and could carry my entire library of music. You didn’t skip and jog like my CD player and you didn’t eat through batteries like my tape player. I could skip to any song I wanted in a matter of seconds. It was the beginnings of true love.

We then took our relationship to the next stage, do you remember? I needed a new computer and, being something of a rebellious teenager, I shrugged off the evil chains of Microsoft and took my first frightening steps into the world of a new operating system. Much like the first time we shared together, my iMac G5 was beautiful and elegant and above all did what I wanted from it. You were always slightly serious though – you never had much time for games aside from Age of Mythology and a few Blizzard titles.

Then my work threatened to turn things into a LDR, when you suggested the Macbook Pro G4. Like a fool, I leapt in, still dizzy with admiration for you. I think that’s when things started to get a little rocky between us. The G4 started to get frighteningly hot in my lap and then the fan started making horrible grinding noises as it struggled to cope. It was the first I feared you’d be violent towards me.

Then you started to change. You began hanging out with a lot of my friends, which I thought was cool to begin with – it meant others could see you and appreciate your virtues as well as I. But then you started getting possessive, especially with music. You wouldn’t let me use my iPod as a normal hard disk any more. When I asked you about this you merely said it was for my own good.

It was around the same time that you announced you were going to have an operation as well, that you didn’t feel comfortable with being an IBM-based machine and wanted to transition to an Intel machine. That was fine – I’ve always been rather open minded about that sort of thing – but I did worry about whether you’d forget about us in your rush to make yourself more open to others.

And open up you most certainly did. It seemed like you were hanging out with everyone. Everyone was using an iPod and you whispered about plans for smartphones and even a tablet in that rather coy way you have. You even started picking up viruses in your rush to get better acquainted with people.

That’s when it really became noticeable to me. Now that you’d reached the top, you started to boss people around, acting like you were the belle of the ball. Things had to be the way you wanted them and if others didn’t like it they could take a hike. How you kept all those accessory makers chasing you, designing a port for one style of iPod only for you to decide the next day you wanted something else.

Your star was starting to get tarnished though, after that sordid episode with the Chinese family? You know very well the one I mean. You ran them ragged as well, chanting your little mantra about how they could do things your way or not at all.

We drifted apart after that, aside from the occasional dalliance. You got me through seven of the most tedious and tortured hours of my life at Dubai airport, thanks to your iPod Touch and season 1 of Babylon 5. Did you ever get the remaining series added to your store? You were extremely lapse about that sort of thing the last time I checked.

The next time I saw you, you’d made the papers. You were arguing bitterly with Samsung about something. At first I thought Samsung had stolen some critical code or something tied to your new processors. I was appalled when I discovered that you were suing them for billions over some rounded corners and icon layout.

It was downhill from there. It was getting more and more expensive to see you. You were flinging around lawsuits like a spoiled brat. There, I said it. I’ve even heard a rumour that you’re trademarking the way you arrange the tables and chairs in your home. Splutter all you want about protecting your rights but we both know this is purely down as an exercise in flexing your influence. And spite.

I miss you Apple, I miss the fun early days we had together, when you were still finding your way in the world. But you’ve become a monster now, the technological equivalent of Paris Hilton and that’s why I’m breaking up with you.

Goodbye.

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Happy

Re: It's over between us

Possibly one of the best Reg comments I have ever read.

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Go

Re: It's over between us

If you only upvote one post today. Make sure that it's the one above the one above this one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's over between us

Now you can be lonely and wait for the Android malware to hit - good luck sucker.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's over between us

What you don't realise is Apple had already left you behind and moved on to bigger and better.

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Happy

Re: It's over between us

Best post for a long, long time! Thank you, AC!

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Re: It's over between us

Dear Apple

I think, with this post, the AC has won the internet.

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Paris Hilton

Re: It's over between us

"the technological equivalent of Paris Hilton"

Thank you, I've been searching for a similie/metaphor to describe Apple and you, sir, have completely nailed it. In the words of South Park, "Stupid Spoiled Whore".

Sent from my iPhone, smeared in the sticky film of shame.

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Re: It's over between us

the Sucker here is YOU

Capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which users ( eg APPLE ) express empathy and have almost fanatical positive feelings towards their products, always to the point of defending them ad nauseam

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Facepalm

Hmm there may be silver lining

If Apple sue Starbucks for having a similar layout (I would imagine the impromptu computer fairs are worried) then at least some of the lawyer's fees will be paid in the UK!

We might actually get some tax in the UK.

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Glue

I've never been in a real Apple shop, but I've visited their shop-in-shop at the Oxford Street John Lewis. I was checking out Ultrabooks, and I thought I'd find out how the weight of the lightweight Apple product compared. To my astonishment I found that I could barely lift it. It weighed at least as much as a table. Probably because it was glued to a table. Do they do this in the real Apple shops?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Glue

it was glued to a table. Do they do this in the real Apple shops

They do. In that, they clearly violate the law because the product demonstrated does not equal to product they sell. I can't get it to stick to my table at home just by itself, and there's no double sided sticky pad in the box. Scandalous!

On a more serious note, I know enough people who work in shops to know that anything that isn't tagged or nailed/glued down eventually gets stolen. It's unbelievable how many people exist who seem to have a problem with recognising ownership. Having said that, if you want to steal Apple stuff there are ways - just get it before it's glued down..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Glue

It's unbelievable how many people exist who seem to have a problem with recognising ownership.

You mean like Apple?

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Re: Glue

No they cannot, They tether them down like everyone else.

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Re: Glue

No they don't. They have wired tag things stuck to the computer that beep very loudly if you remove them. You can lift it off the table, but you will deafen everyone in the shop if you move it more than about 15 cm.

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Re: Glue

Indeed, and they dont say that the table isnt included :(

I thought it was a very small flatpack or perhaps a voucher that you need to take to another warehouse 5 miles down the road to pick up the table. Surely a case for trading standards.

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Anybody read the application?

Does anyone ever read the application before knee-jerking?

It's a "Service Mark" for "Retail store services featuring computers, computer software, computer peripherals, mobile phones, consumer electronics and related accessories, and demonstration of products relating thereto" and comprises of "The mark consists of the design and layout of a retail store. The store features a 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. Within the store, rectangular recessed lighting units traverse the length of the store's ceiling. There are 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. There is multi-tiered shelving along the side walls, and a oblong table with stools located at the back of the store, set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall. The walls, floors, lighting, and other fixtures appear in dotted lines and 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."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Anybody read the application?

It doesn't matter, it's petty, it's a fsucking shop.

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Flame

Re: Anybody read the application?

@ac then why do the competition bother copying it? If Samsung/Microsoft are copying it, it must be for a financial advantage which is a pretty reasonable reason to ask them to stop. If you spend a lot of money researching and designing a shop layout, why wouldn't you protect it if there are laws with which you can do that?

Either it doesn't matter, which means nobody would copy it or it matters, which means you're being ripped off.

Oh, wait, It's Apple and they're this year's evil. Yeah, carry on. Don't let facts get in the way or anything.

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Re: Anybody read the application?

Jared Earle - why do you care?

Why on Earth would it matter to you if Microsoft's shops or Samsung's shops looked like Apple's shops?

Tesco's shops look like Sainsbury's shops and Asda's shop and Morrison's shops - so what? How do the customers suffer as a result?

If it is a good layout for a shop why not welcome the fact that it is widely used?

How could anyone possibly love a company that doesn't give a shit about them so much that they are prepared to come out and defend nonsense like this in public?

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Facepalm

Re: Anybody read the application?

Lord Voldemortgage - Why do you care that I care?

I don't actually hold any opinions you've ascribed to me, but I can understand why you'd think I did. My point in commenting isn't about the copying; it's about how an article can be written that is essentially wrong in its content. The article states that "Apple has outdone itself by trademarking the shop" and that's the bit I'm trying to correct. Apple hasn't trademarked the shop; they've Service Marked their design in the computer retail market for shops that hold demonstrations as well as selling things. It's exceedingly narrow and yet the article implies it's broad.

Still, the commenters are up in arms about how Apple is evil and that always brings traffic (irony not unnoticed by my commenting here, don't worry) which brings ad impressions.

I'm not defending Apple as much as I'm trying to point out that this isn't what people want to believe it is.

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Re: Anybody read the application?

I read it, and it still seems incredible that anyone can trademark this sort of thing. How can something so broad be protected in law? At least there should be definition of colours and proportions in order to make it specific to the brand. Are there any previous examples of such action on the part of any retailer anywhere in the world?

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Re: Anybody read the application?

then why do the competition bother copying it?

Erm.....this layout for stores was around LONG before Apple. The first computer shop I even walked into, when I was about waist high to my dad back in the early 80s, used a layout not much different than what's being described here.

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Correction

Apple were *last* year's evil.

They are this year's joke.

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Re: Anybody read the application?

indeed. "Saddlers" in Ashton in Makerfield had recessed racking with game tapes. Rectangular tables had spectrums and C64s that you could try the games on. Staff wandered about helping people load games on or answered questions about the games. It was laid out in that way due to the shape of the shop with gaps in the tables so you didnt have to walk around all the tables to get to the machines. It was one of the few places you could see a near mythical 5.25 disk drive being used and in later years a QL with microtape.

Some hardware was at the back behind the tills. Granted they didnt have recessed screens but they did have big posters up of elite.

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WTF?

Is that typo really in the trademark application?

> and a oblong table

Is it OK to have an oblong table? or even rectangular?

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Does anyone think they should specify "Apple Products" in this?

After a quick read through I saw this and had the thought, that this covers pretty much any store that sells all of this stuff, so shouldnt they specify Retail stores that sell Apple computers, etc etc?

"International Class 035: Retail store services featuring computers, computer software, computer peripherals, mobile phones, consumer electronics and related accessories, and demonstration of products relating thereto

In International Class 035, the mark was first used at least as early as 09/00/2006, and first used in commerce at least as early as 09/00/2006, and is now in use in such commerce. The applicant is submitting one specimen(s) showing the mark as used in commerce on or in connection with any item in the class of listed goods and/or services, consisting of a(n) Photograph of Applicant's store."

Also primary legal is a lass called "Widup" had to re -read that a couple of times to make sure it didnt say "Windup"!

IMHO, its all getting a bit of a joke now not just Apple, but all companies looking at blaming someone else for copying certain things. Instead why cant they just do something better and let their actions speak for themselves?

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Anonymous Coward

Wow...

..BYTE stores from the 90's called, they want their ideas back.

PS prior art. Nearly every fucking call centre in the world.

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