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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  1. Monty Burns


    Fuck off Apple. Pathetic.

  2. Velv Silver badge

    Shareholders should be calling for a vote of no confidence in the board of directors as the board is clearly being take for a ride by its lawyers.

    "yes, Mr Boardmember, we'll charge you millions to patent it and trademark it and then charge you more to vigorously defend your rights no matter how much it costs you"

  3. M7S

    Will the local produce sale in my village hall be sued?

    The trestle tables are arranged in a similar fashion and they sell apples.

    Would it be made worse by the fact that they also have blackberries for sale?

    A little off topic but it reminds me that when clearing out an old desk a few days ago, I came across some floppies for an Apricot. Memories of a sweeter time.

  4. ForthIsNotDead

    Prior Art...

    Greenacres County Primary School, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, 1980.

    I know 'cause I was there. I bought an Evil Kneivel bike with the little red windy-upy thing.

    The tables were laid out EXACTLY the same. Miss Jones, our head-mistress would be rolling in her grave (RIP).

    BUSTED, Apple!

  5. walatam

    This has to be simple vanity, right?

    I can't believe that there is any other purpose to this. Is this really going to stop knock-off stores popping up? Will it be possible to prove that there were no other stores with this layout prior to the application being filed / apple being spewed forth onto the world (I used to like Apple, honest).

    Does this mean I need to cancel my bake sale? (I appear to have rectangular tables with chairs underneath that are parallel to a wall, OCD you see, and a twat, which would be me, offering advice and being sneery).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple spend a lot developing their products, brand etc. - it's understandable as otherwise (and even though) people just rip off their design / work.

    1. The_H

      Yeah, like they were the First People Ever to use icons, windows, Apple logos, rounded rectangles, shops with tables....

  7. JohnsonVonJohnson

    Not that big a deal

    Ever been to a Wal-Mart or a McDonald's?

    Same deal.

  8. 1Rafayal

    Yesterday I got home and found out that Apple had trademarked my door mat and patented the spoon.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever next...

    Well, we need someone to trademark tables being arranged parallel to the shop front, some to trademark having tables diagonal to the shop front, and finally someone to trademark having tables randomly arranged... Everyone who wants to have tables, in their store will be screwed.

  10. Charles 9 Silver badge

    IINM, Apple now has a Design Patent for their Apple Stores. It's not as if this is the only way to arrange an electronics store and has more to do with Apple's sense of style. As long as the patent is specific to this layout, I say OK they've locked in a signature style. Just steer away from it and life goes on.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Correcting myself.

      Whether it's a service mark, a design patent, whatever. Point is, it's SPECIFIC. They're locking in a signature style, not saying any other electronics company can have a store. So I say, "So blanking what?"

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Correcting myself.

        this isnt specific though. It is a store that sells or demonstrates pretty much any electronic or computer device. Is laid out in a rectangular fashion with tables and recessed shelves.

        That doesnt seem specific to me. Specific would have dimensions, brand names, paint codes, technical aspects etc.

        The trademark posted is broad not specific.

  11. Lamont Cranston

    That drawing

    looks just any mobile phone shop, yet I've never been in one and wondered where the Genius Bar(tm) was.

    What a load of wank.

  12. Simon Harris Silver badge

    On-line store...

    I went to browse on the Apple on-line store, but their website coding was so 1990s...

    The layout was done with pairs of <TABLE>s all down the centre of the page.

  13. sisk Silver badge

    I get why they applied for the trademark (they ARE Apple after all) but I can't for the life of me figure out what kind of deficiency allowed it to be granted. Was I a bribe, blackmail, or fanboism? Surely it's one of the three because this is the layout of a massive number of stores. It's hardly something Apple could claim is uniquely theirs.

  14. The Boojum

    and Games Workshop...

    ...except for the video screens and counter at the back

    1. Snowy
      Thumb Up

      Re: and Games Workshop...

      Yes they even have chairs and things to play with. Have an upvote, was going to the very same thing.

  15. Scrumble

    Hang on...

    "Tables in a line"? Surely this means that if Samsung trademarks a shop with "tables not in a line" then all other shops with would have to shut down?

    And what happens to Tables R Us

  16. long-in-tooth

    I Remember when .......

    I remember a store in Leeds having exactly that layout - tables with chairs and stools around the sides of the store and along the center. That was in the days of CorelDraw 5. It was running on all their computers for a promotion. I was the one who moved from table to table and crashed every machine possible until I was politely asked to leave. I never did by version 5. Ah, yes, I remember it well. (Has that phrase been patented?)

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I Remember when .......

      Yes. Version 5 did constantly crash! I've got the "elements" version, which was usually just the previous version, minus a little, sold to the home user. Worked a treat, but had to auto save and Ctr-Del exit every 5 mins on the dot.

  17. kdh0009

    But.. all of Apple's shops are different?

    I'd have thought in order to trademark a shop layout they would at least have to show that they brought all of their stores to a particular standard?

    I'm sure many are familiar with the 5th Avenue Apple Store's above ground glass cube - which couldn't be much more different from the grand, old-school Apple Store in Glasgow.


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But.. all of Apple's shops are different?


      Thats Apple for you!

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: But.. all of Apple's shops are different?

      The design in the article looks like their shopping centre stores. Certainly it looks like the stores in both Westfield Centres in London, Brent Cross, Arndale Centre Manchester and Trafford Centre Manchester.

      The Regent Street, Covent Garden and Buchanan St stores look a bit different. They are in old buildings and cover more than one floor. One thing those stores all have in common is a glass staircase.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Owning an iDevice is embrassing enough for thier clan, but trust Apple to go that little bit further than most sane people.

    Honestly! Lame/gay/tragic/<insert slight here>

  19. Swiss

    I have patented shit, yes thats right all your hot steaming shit r belong to I, patent pending on cold non steaming shit.

    FFS Apple, what a bunch of complete twunts

  20. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Oh, for the love of God...

    Apple, you're going to servicemark the placement of tables and shelves in a store? REALLY??!

    Boy, it must be a nice gig being Apple's outside counsel for intellectual property law....

    1. billse10

      Re: Oh, for the love of God...

      ", it must be a nice gig being Apple's outside counsel for intellectual property law..."

      Very, they clearly have nor need intellect and are not in any meaningful sense* lawyers to a global business - "an unjust law is no law" etc should equally apply to service marks / trademarks / patents, and any lawyer who isn't just a windup would have told them not to bother with this nonsense

      * i.e. they haven't considered any law outside the USA, or just how laughable this makes their client

  21. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    I think it's absolutely correct that Apple should try to protect its most valuable idea.

  22. bag o' spanners

    It will appeal to squares. Is every genius obliged to take a protractor to their personal hot table every morning to make sure that it's precision parked parallel to the wall? Expiring minds need to know.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder

    I wonder how much money Apple is paying the patent office to get these stupid senseless copyrights and patents approved.

  24. Madboater


    Despite my hatred for Apple perusing all this patent and trademark rubbish, I thought this really took the biscuit, however when my less than IT interested wife saw the line diagram, she asked if that was a new Apple Store! Made me think they may have a point. I do think however they should be made to make all their shops look like that drawing. If they change it in anyway to look like any other store then they should get fined. After all it is Apple who has started this game.

  25. OrsonX

    I wish I owned a shop

    so I could arrange it EXACTLY like this.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: I wish I owned a shop

      and open it as an apple and vegetable shop? That doesnt seem to be covered in the trademark. Your symbol could be a pepper with a bit taken out of it.

  26. Bob Vistakin

    "Thinking different" at its finest

    Android demolished Apple in smartphone sales for 2012, and this is their response.

  27. heyrick Silver badge

    Patent infringement...

    "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." and "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."

    In order to infringe upon a patent, don't you sort of have to need to infringe upon it "globally"? I mean, having a bunch of tables in a row from the storefront to the back with shelves on the sides describes a computer shop in Guildford back in the '80s, and probably thousands around the world.

    What they most likely don't have, however, is stools and video screens at the back.

    So if you have a shop with tables and side-wall-shelves, but not stools/screens, that's not infringing, right?

  28. FatGerman


    Kind of looks like my local pub. They sell apples too, albeit of the fermented variety.

    Mind you, the Feng Shui's all over the place, so I doubt this will do Apple any good at all.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    On Monday morning, or ehenever I'm next sober, I'm going down to trademark wiping my arse after having a shit.

    If I catch any of you c**ts wiping your arses after having a shit, I'm going to sue the shit out of you.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next: Apple to trademark their customers appearance


    Yes you, behind the windows!

    The one in the wrong designer gear.

    No shiny relics for you.

  31. El_Fev

    This is the most pathetic thread I have ever read..

    Seriously you people need lives!

    1. Scrumble

      Re: This is the most pathetic thread I have ever read..

      iTake* it you own an apple?

      *Sue me**

      ***Hears a thought, if Apple trademark lawyers, that would Samsung wouldn't be able to use them. Win

  32. Roger Stenning

    Pathetic or not (I consider this to be the latter), there's something that all the previous posts appear to have missed: What completely loony insane and bloody stupid bunch of morons actually *granted* this trademark?

    You guessed it: The Utterly Stupid Pillocks and Twats Orifice, proving, once again, that they are *not* even close to being fit for purpose.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are fit for purpose.

      Their purpose is to let IP issues be resolved in the courts - to the benefit of lawyers - who write the rules in the first place.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missing the point

    I would hope this isn't just to persecute anyone who has a similar layout, but to stop people setting up identakit stores as has happened in China. El Reg reported a couple of years ago of stores in China that were identical to the real thing, logos and all.

    Do any other retail outlets file such trademarks? McDonalds have been refitting their branches over the last few years. If you set up a cafe down the road with an identical look and layout I can't imagine they'd be best pleased either. But would a chain like that also file for protection of the design of their outlet?

  34. Dana W

    How about the appearance of copycat Microsoft stores in the US?

  35. MrXavia

    WTF? prior art... I've been in loads of stored in china that look JUST like that, and that is not just apple stores...

    Whoever granted this is a few braincells short in the common sense department...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America: Freedom to Facism

    no rectangular tables in your store. peon.

  37. The Envoy
    Thumb Up

    New business model looming

    After the computer sales fizzle Apple can probably continue for a couple of decades living off of the money made from suing companies and persons breaking one or more of those silly trademarks and patents.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like an up-scale fashion outlet

    One extremely overpriced item per table with plenty of room for the adoring crowds to gape in wonder at the oh-so-perfect beauty.

  39. We're all in it together
    Thumb Up

    Excellent news!

    Assuming I can recreate the exact layout at work tomorrow I'm hoping some Apple henchmen will immediately shut the office down and give me a day off - hopefully on full pay. Then I can go to my local phone shop and buy either an Android, Blackberry, or Windows phone.

    This is the smartest, fastest, and lightest patent yet (tm)


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