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 …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

  1. Mr Anonymous

    If this is a result of Chinese stores copying the layout, the Chinese stores are obviously prior art.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: someone please tell me

      Trademark, not patent. Doesn't make it any less ludicrous, but the rules are different. Trademarks are even more litigious.

      1. PC Paul
        Stop

        Re: someone please tell me

        IIRC in the US a 'Design Patent' is what most of the rest of the world calls a 'trademark'.

        Doesn't make all the other patentfoolery that goes on over there any better, but 'Design Patents' aren't really part of the Patent problem.

        1. NorthernCoder

          Re: someone please tell me

          Design patent == Design patterns, or industrial design rights in EU. What protects e.g. a "classic" Coca Cola bottle, which is obviously not an invention.

  2. Annihilator
    Facepalm

    Christ, even Gap has a similar layout to this.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Apple stores do definitely have a unique look though. You can protect a brand...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Steve Todd
          Stop

          Re: @JDX

          I seem to remember the comentards leaping up and down cheering when Apple got sued by Swiss railways over their trademarked clock face design. It was round, had three hands and marks at the hour points. Enough of the double standards already.

          The layout of an Apple store is quite distinctive. Trademarking that design doesn't stop anyone else opening a shop selling computers, it just prevents them making said stores look too like Apple's design.

          1. messele
            Holmes

            Re: @JDX

            Indeed.

            Regarding the Swiss clock. Apple got busted on that one, they didn't do their homework but having said that at least they did the right thing and compensated the rightful owners.

            I don't see much of that going on elsewhere...

            1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

              Re: @JDX

              at least they did the right thing and compensated the rightful owners

              AFAIK, only after they got sued.

            2. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: @JDX

              >least they did the right thing and compensated the rightful owners.

              It's funny how (from press reports) Apple only paid $21M for this, but then somehow thinks that Samsung's bill of circa $1 billion for similar levels of infringement is too small...

              1. Adam 1 Silver badge

                Re: @JDX

                The problem is that you need to be a special copyright mathematician before you can hope to understand how that works.

                1. Danny 14 Silver badge
                  Terminator

                  Re: @JDX

                  Thing about patents though, it would be cheaper for the charity shop to swap to triangular tables (instead of their existing dexian racks and rectangular tables). Saves on lawyer costs. Even though they have been there for about 30 years (with the same tables and dexian racks).

                  Doesnt matter how retarted the patent is, if you cant afford to fight it, its tough.

          2. the J to the C

            Re: @JDX

            except that other shops selling computers tend to suck up less and know more

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Apple stores do definitely have a unique look though.

        Yes, they are full off Apple stuff.

        Another store might have much the same layout but be full of shoes.

        1. Steve Todd
          Stop

          Re: Apple stores do definitely have a unique look though. - @Tom

          Are the words "Computer Store" confusing to you? Do you wander into one by mistake when you are looking for a new pair of trainers? If not then you should have figured out that they are not covered by a trademark for the layout of computer stores.

          1. Tom 35 Silver badge

            Re: Apple stores do definitely have a unique look though. - @Tom

            Apple seems to get confused by such things as poo shovels. I don't think they would confine their lawyers to going after computer stores.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Apple stores do definitely have a unique look though. - @Tom

            If not then you should have figured out that they are not covered by a trademark for the layout of computer stores.

            Does that mean it doesnt apply to shops selling iPhones?

      3. Marshalltown
        Thumb Down

        But...

        In order to know whether you are "violating" the moronic trademarking of a store layout, you would have to bloody visit one. I've never been inside an Apple store and never plan to enter one. Bad enough walking into a Verizon shop.

    2. Bod

      Trademarks work differently. You have to appear to be using the trademark to 'pass off' your business as theirs. If it's clear you're not you can freely use the same things identified in the trademark. The exception is where the other side has expensive lawyers though.

      Gap and Apple are different businesses and it's hard to say Gap would be using the trademark to pass off as an Apple store. Though the lawyers would argue that a clothing store styled the same way could cause confused people to walk in and ask for an iPhone. Arguably Apple are ripping off trendy clothes stores anyway (not saying Gap is trendy though).

    3. cortland

      Follow the money.

      Yes indeed. And now they can pay A(something) to use it.

  3. Richard 120
    WTF?

    but...

    it's a canteen?

    1. Victor Ludorum
      Pint

      Re: but...

      Yes, it's where they serve the Apple Kool-Aid(tm) (patent pending).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: but...

        Mondain's Swiss Railway watches feature a red second hand with a circle at the end of it, and black rectangular hour and minute hands- the Apple iDevice clock copied it to a tee. Many people have abandoned watches already because their phone acts as a timepiece, and those who still wear one accidentally buy an iPhone when they set out to buy a Mondain watch. I guess Mondain had to defend the design against Apple (whose use of the design probably didn't hurt Mondain's sales, probably the reverse) so as not to allow cheap knock-off watch makers to do the same.

        Similarly, the original iPhone calculator was a homage to a Braun calculator.

  4. Mr. Fatuous

    What next?

    They'll be patenting their staff next.

    No other shop will be able to have smug looking "cool" staff wandering around doing anything other than actually selling anything.

    1. nevstah

      Re: What next?

      einstein was a genius way before apple came along. his family should sue!

    2. Annihilator
      Happy

      Re: What next?

      "No other shop will be able to have smug looking "cool" staff wandering around doing anything other than actually selling anything."

      Abercrombie & Fitch got there waaaay before Apple did on that front.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What next?

        I heard Apple is trying to sue the descendants of Newton because his Apple theory infringes on their trademarks.

  5. Steve Crook

    Hong Kong

    Some years back I was there, and two doors down the road from the Benetton shop there was a guy selling Benneton rip offs (of good quality). To wrap up the deal, he'd put them in a Benetton carrier bag.

    I hope he's a millionaire by now...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hong Kong

      and I hope people rip off your work as well.

      1. Steve Crook

        Re: Hong Kong @ AC

        If I ever reach the exalted state of Benneton and have enough cash to spare to be able to fund an F1 team I probably shouldn't be worrying too much about a guy on the street selling shirts. In fact, if he's got that much cheek and enterprise, I might do well employing him somewhere...

        Develop a sense of proportion.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Steve Crook

          "Develop a sense of proportion."?

          Ah so it's OK to rip off someone else's work because it's a huge corporation that makes millions and won't miss it? Right, got it! So you're going down to PC World this afternoon and walking out with a few laptops without asking? I mean they won't miss 'em 'cos they make millions right? Further to that, due to your cunning an guile at managing to obtain said stolen property you'll be hoping some nearby entrepreneur will offer you a job to boot because of your talent at nicking stuff?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC

            No, it's not "all right". It's "pointless". Why bother saying "I've invented cleaning my bum, no one else is allowed to". Granted, we all want to protect our name, and should do the best to. But someone selling something in a foreign country passing off as your brand tells you more about your own businesses failures than the sellers success at fooling customers.

            Oh, and by the way, you cannot patent/protect clothing. It's the law. Strangely, the companies BENEFIT from this. It drives their competition, innovation and brand names through the roof. They make more money through the indirect advertising of shoddy copies than they could make if they destroyed the competition and paid for their own advertising. (Check out the TED talk on it, I'll not waist my effort finding it for you just now)

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: @AC

              HK rip off merchants often buy "staff stock" from the factories at "cost" price with a kick back to the foreman to downgrade perfectly fine stock. Benneton still get their money at source and the brand still get circulated. It only takes a few other genuine sales to keep it going. You dont see nike losing much sleep over knock offs either.

              Selling your premium brand cheap at retail simply turns it into a burberry chav symbol.

  6. The FunkeyGibbon
    Coat

    So they've not patented...

    Windows then? ;-)

    1. Panicnow

      Re: So they've not patented...

      Windows then? ;-) ... No Microsoft trademarked/stole that years ago!

    2. Ye Gads
      Windows

      Re: So they've not patented...

      They tried that with their "Look and Feel" lawsuit against Microsoft in the 90s...

  7. ukgnome Silver badge
    WTF?

    NO

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO x 1000

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: NO

      Don't sit on the fence; tell us what you really think.

    2. Doogie Howser MD
      Happy

      Re: NO

      ..."There's no liiimmmiiiiittsss!"

      Thanks for transporting me back to my 90's pomp, ukgnome ;-)

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. M.D.

      Re: NO

      @ukgnome

      Thanks. I needed that. After insanity THIS large and pathetic, someone screaming out NO very loudly is the only possible response!

      I think large numbers of people should stand in Apple Stores chanting NO, NO, No No... To the tune of the Spam Song from Monty Python.

      1. ukgnome Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: NO

        Sign me up M.D.

        ** I am not familiar with flash mobs, are Molotov's mandatory?

        ***joke

        1. M.D.
          Joke

          Re: NO

          A "Flash Molotov"

          Hmmmm....... :-D

        2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Re: NO

          I am not familiar with flash mobs

          It's a group of people clubbing into Apple shops, demanding that Apple supports Adobe.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: NO

            But then they will video it, dub the sound and make you look like you are supporting them. Good luck explaining that to your mates when it gets circulated on TV. Then apple will patent the flash mob and its participants which means apple will own you. You'll get sued for having free will.

            Its not worth the risk son.

  8. Babbit55
    WTF?

    Seriously? what will be next! I am fed up with both apple and Samsung destroying innovation with this stupid business though litigation, I have started buying none branded and smaller brands because of this and I am loving my Natpc, unbranded Chinese tablet that costs next to nothing and is as good as something from either of them!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/NATPC-X210-Dual-Core-STORAGE/dp/B00AKYZ6RI/ref=sr_1_8?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1359717704&sr=1-8

    1. Fuzz

      RE: cheap tablet

      This tablet has a 1024x600 10.1" screen, a crummy processor and poor wifi.

      It's got 4 stars on Amazon but all the reviews say something like.

      "I love this tablet it was so cheap, only problems are the wifi drops out all the time and the screen is a bit fuzzy and [insert name of app] keeps freezing and doesn't work properly.

      Sounds like a great buy to me, I'm sure Apple and Samsung are worried.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: RE: cheap tablet

        to be fair, most of the crappy tablets have horrible firmware. If you can flash it with a common firmware then you are laughing. I got a cheapy chinapad for the kids and its great. Screen is ok and after flashing hasnt locked up or crashed any more than the galaxy tab 2 has.

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019