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. JimmyPage Silver badge
    FAIL

    Prior art ?

    The city centre PCWorld/Currys has a very similar look, only in dark, muted colours .....

    1. Annihilator
      Coat

      Re: Prior art ?

      Yes but their tables are perpendicular to the wall, instead of parallel. Phew!

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: Prior art ?

        As are the iTables in the Manchester Arndale iShop... non-compliant with Head Orifice?

    2. timcroydon
      FAIL

      Re: Prior art ?

      Prior art is for patents not trademarks

    3. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Prior art ?

      Really? You don't think that perhaps the Apple store layout precedes the PC World one?

    4. Simon Harris Silver badge

      Re: Prior art ?

      My local Sony Centre looks quite similar too.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      Re: Prior art ?

      The Apple shops are very different to all others. There's a far higher concentration of pillocks among staff and customers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prior art ?

        At least they have customers...

      2. JohnG Silver badge

        Re: Prior art ?

        "The Apple shops are very different to all others. There's a far higher concentration of pillocks among staff and customers."

        Yes - but they haven't made that distinction clear in their application.

      3. LinkOfHyrule
        Joke

        Re: concentration of pillocks among staff and customers.

        "The Apple shops are very different to all others. There's a far higher concentration of pillocks among staff and customers."

        Wow, did you enter a cheat for getting lots of upvotes or something or do only Apple haters read stories about Apple?

        P.S. Fuck Apple lol

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prior art ?

        More pillocks than here? 115 pillocks to be precise.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior art ?

      I've seen some phone shops definitely fit those descriptions - cant remember which though?

      1. wowfood
        Facepalm

        Re: Prior art ?

        3 shop in west key southampton had a very similar layout.

        As did the 7th floor IT classroom at solent, room... 9 I think? Massive room, exact same layout just on a larger scale.

        Also the office I work in has the same layout,

        Honestly how can you trademark the placement of other objects? If they'd invented something new then sure, but for the love of all that isn't apple... the USPTO really is filled with a bunch of nincompoops.

        1. The FunkeyGibbon

          Re: Prior art ?

          Quite apart from the good point you have made, please have an up-vote for the use of the word 'nincompoops'. Bravo sir! :-)

      2. skellious

        Re: Prior art ?

        orange UK certainly used to do something quite similar

      3. rvt
        Trollface

        Re: Prior art ?

        "I've seen some phone shops definitely fit those descriptions - cant remember which though?"

        Must have been Samsung store...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prior art ?

        Quote: "I've seen some phone shops".

        Vodafone, Three and O2 in the UK (most other countries still use old arrangement). It is post-Apple-retail though, 10 years ago it used to use different arrangement. The phones used to be on the wall with most of the shop open space. They copied the Apple retail standard arrangement as it allows more customers to wonder around tat to choose.

        Rather pointless too as you are least likely to see a crowd of fanboi climbing over each other when a new "normal people" phone is released.

      5. Rattus Rattus

        Re: phone shops

        The Vodafone stores here in Aus certainly have that exact layout, just less blindingly white.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: phone shops

          loads of mobile phone shops look like this. Ive seen an O2 shop look like this. Not as white (the O2 shop was still white) but they all had phones along the walls, the shop was longer than wider and had tables with a central walkway to the tills. The tables were narrowish but had products on them - some in glass cases with various bumf. Game also looked like this before it closed down

          Just goes to shop how completely broken the US Patent Office really is.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prior art ?

      Why the 'f' not - after all if they don't every bugger would just copy it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Prior art ?

        Quote: "Why the 'f' not - after all if they don't every bugger would just copy it."

        Every bugger has copied it even when it is pointless. Voda, O2, Three have all switched from "stock on the walls" to tables and stock on them. The counter has been replaced by a table for staff which sometimes so anti-ergonomic that it reminds me of theregister ikea/Jobbs spoof (vodafone) and asking for a H&S intervention. And so on.

        All of it pointless as Apple store is designed for a high-flow of fanboi falling over each over to see tat. Most other retail outlets do not have to handle anything near that level of flow.

    8. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Prior art ?

      It seems trivial and obvious, but there is a subtle difference. Pretty much every store I've been in uses desks / stands, not tables (and definitely no stools / chairs). Their wares are there to be looked at, not played around with.

      On teh other hand when I've been to an Apple store I could stop here and there and take 15-30 minutes to actually tray something properly instead of playing around for a few seconds.

      So, may or may not warrant a trademark, but what they're doing is definitely better than what everyone else is.

      1. Michael Nidd

        Re: Prior art ?

        > So, may or may not warrant a trademark, but what they're doing is definitely better than what everyone else is.

        Actually, that would kill it. Something that gives a functional advantage cannot be trademarked. Patents are for useful innovations; trademarks are to distinguish something in the mind of customers. That's why the Coke bottle shape is a trademark, but an electric razor with three rotating heads is not (any more).

      2. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: Prior art ?

        It seems trivial and obvious, but there is a subtle difference. Pretty much every store I've been in uses desks / stands, not tables (and definitely no stools / chairs). Their wares are there to be looked at, not played around with.

        Think a bit more broadly than simply phone shops. Tables parallel to the walls, shelving along those walls, stools... it sounds very much like most book shops in fact. No mention of what the actual merchandise is, in the quotes in the article at least.

    9. Frankee Llonnygog

      Re: Prior art ?

      Microsoft trademarked their store design in October 2011, as reported on the Reg, only that story didn't have all the phony outrage.

      I can't be arsed to search, but I'm willing to bet every retailer of any significance has trademarked their store design. You'd be on okay grounds trying to shut down a bogus store if you didn't have the right trademarks in place.

      So, why all the bogus outrage? Oh yes, because it's Apple.

      1. hazydave

        Re: Prior art ?

        No... not prior art (well, this isn't a patent, but still), but not for the usual reasons. Have you recently been in a Microsoft store. Ok, no one has, but I've seen pictures. They don't look anything like that trademark document's drawings... they look exactly like Apple stores now. Guess it's that whole "tablets and phones" thing, must force one into the same design, can't help it, fact of nature, move along now.

        And of course, no, no one bothered with Microsoft's trademark. Again, humans have yet to actually visit Microsoft stores. And their original design was ugly and stupid... a harbinger of Metro, I suppose. Apple's important, so naturally, things they do, good or bad, attract attention.

      2. croc

        Microsoft store?

        (Blink - Blink) Microsoft Store? They have some? Where...? (checks Sydney CBD... Nope, not there... Lifts Melbourne's skirts... Nada. Here little store...)

    10. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Prior art ?

      To be fair, I have not seen any other place of worship with this sort of layout.

      1. Gannon (J.) Dick
        Pint

        Re: Prior art ?

        I was about to remark about the seeming lack of space for the institution's Piano Player, but yes, of course, House of Worship.

      2. John Bailey

        Re: Prior art ?

        Two lines of devotional spots, an aisle down the middle.. All they need is a pulpit and an altar. And an organ at the back.

        Hey.. they could call the staff area the vestry...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shamsung stores

    copied them (like they do) and opened them nearby too!

    http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/store-wars-samsung-apple-gadgets-at-10-paces-20120823-24njn.html

    1. nexsphil

      Re: Shamsung stores

      I was about to slap you for being a shill, but that article shows some pretty blatant shammery. Shamsung indeed.

    2. Shagbag

      Re: Shamsung stores

      US patents and trademarks aren't enforceable outside of the US.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shamsung stores

        "US patents and trademarks aren't enforceable outside of the US."

        Thank <deity>.

  3. Lunatik
    Trollface

    Hats off...

    Apple is the Über Troll. Watch the paroxysms of rage and impotence engulf forums across the globe!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hats off...

      Actually, they were OK when it comes to hardware, just innovation appears to have come to a grinding halt. However, all this idiotic legal crap is seriously destroying my desire to buy more product from them. If they really think they need to do this to address competition they are evidently no longer interested in development.

      Status quo and me too I can buy from anyone..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hats off...

      Indeed. I almost suspect Apple do it to piss Anna Leach off, as she's clearly so upset by Apple's success she has to try and put a negative spin on anything they do.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Hats off...

        she has to try and put a negative spin on anything they do

        Umm, huh? I must have missed that. Where was she giving this news a negative spin other than where it really deserves it? As far as I can see the article is far more neutral than this idiocy deserves..

  4. Shonko Kid
    Mushroom

    ...

    So, presumably non-rectangular tables would be OK then?

    I mean, FFS Apple, I hope Samsung open a shiny store and use tables that have rounded corners. In Cupertino.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: ...

      Well, to be fair, this seems in response not to some hypothetical copying... Theres a few mac retailers who seem to ape the look.

    2. Andrew_b65
      WTF?

      Re: ...

      ...or two square tables arranged adjacent to each other forming a rectangle, but not actually being a rectangle?

      Fuck me! This is all so pathetic. I hope @pple burn all their cash hoard on lawyers, wankers!

      1. Stratman

        Re: ...

        A square is a rectangle.

        1. Annihilator
          Thumb Up

          Re: ...

          @Stratman - no idea who'd vote you down for a square being a rectangle?? A square is also a parallelogram and a quadrilateral. And a polygon for that matter. And a closed polygonal chain :-)

        2. Ben Rosenthal

          Re: ...

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdREEcfaihg

    3. Phil Endecott Silver badge

      Re: ...

      > presumably non-rectangular tables would be OK then?

      How about adding some rounded corners....

    4. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: ...

      I for one can't wait for Apple lawyers to argue that having rounded corners doesn't make it materially different to a rectangle with squared edges.

  5. Rob Crawford

    Checks date

    Not 01 April

    Dear apple, fuck off

  6. Fab De Marco

    I know its basis is an Internet meme but....

    I really don't want to live on this planet any more.

    1. Jedit
      Stop

      "I really don't want to live on this planet any more."

      That's a foolish attitude to have, Fab. You should not want Apple to live on this planet any more.

  7. Danny 5
    WTF?

    someone please tell me

    when this patent madness will end?

    Surely patenting a room design is impossible? Or has the world truely gone mad?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Philip Lewis
    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?

    1. Purlieu

      Re: Copying

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

      oh, wait .......

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: @Philip Lewis -@AC

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

    3. Chad H.

      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...

  17. JaitcH
    Thumb Up

    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.

  18. Khaptain Silver badge

    Some people wonder

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

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Some people wonder

      Who is popular with everyone?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some people wonder

        "Who is popular with everyone?"

        Eadon?

        1. Thecowking

          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.

          1. andy 45

            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...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some people wonder

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

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        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.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please Jobs

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

    1. Haku

      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..."

    2. Chris 171
      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.

      1. cortland

        Re: Please Jobs

        Fiat pecunia quis custidiet custards

        Or something like that.

    3. Fred Flintstone 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..

    4. Adam 1 Silver badge

      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.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

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

    1. Richard 120
      Facepalm

      Paradox

      I am confused.

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

    2. Darryl
      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...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. TrixyB
      Happy

      Re: It's over between us

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

    2. Crisp Silver badge
      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's over between us

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

      1. menotu

        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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    5. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: It's over between us

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

    6. PrivateCitizen
      Thumb Up

      Re: It's over between us

      Dear Apple

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

    7. FatGerman
      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.

  22. Why Not?
    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.

  23. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Glue

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

        You mean like Apple?

    2. Dana W

      Re: Glue

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

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      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.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        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.

  24. Jared Earle
    Thumb Down

    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."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Anybody read the application?

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

      1. Jared Earle
        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.

        1. Lord Voldemortgage

          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?

          1. Jared Earle
            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.

        2. sisk Silver badge

          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.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            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.

        3. Shooter

          Correction

          Apple were *last* year's evil.

          They are this year's joke.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      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?

  25. Natalie Gritpants
    WTF?

    Is that typo really in the trademark application?

    > and a oblong table

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

  26. Jay Holmes

    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?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  28. Monty Burns

    gobsmacked...

    Fuck off Apple. Pathetic.

  29. Velv Silver badge
    FAIL

    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"

  30. 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.

  31. ForthIsNotDead Silver badge

    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!

  32. 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).

  33. 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....

  34. JohnsonVonJohnson

    Not that big a deal

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

    Same deal.

  35. 1Rafayal
    Trollface

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

  36. 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.

  37. Charles 9 Silver badge
    Meh

    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.

  38. 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.

  39. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Joke

    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.

  40. 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.

  41. The Boojum
    FAIL

    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.

  42. 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

  43. 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.

  44. kdh0009
    Stop

    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.

    Odd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

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

      "Odd."

      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.

  45. 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>

  46. 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

  47. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Devil

    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

  48. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    Wait!

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

  49. bag o' spanners
    Pint

    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.

  50. 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.

  51. Madboater

    Intresting

    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.

  52. OrsonX
    Flame

    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.

  53. Bob Vistakin
    Pint

    "Thinking different" at its finest

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

  54. 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?

  55. FatGerman
    Windows

    Erm..

    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.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Arse

    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.

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next: Apple to trademark their customers appearance

    You!

    Yes you, behind the windows!

    The one in the wrong designer gear.

    No shiny relics for you.

  58. El_Fev
    Unhappy

    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

  59. Roger Stenning
    FAIL

    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.

  60. 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?

  61. Dana W
    Meh

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

  62. MrXavia
    WTF?

    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...

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    America: Freedom to Facism

    no rectangular tables in your store. peon.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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)

  67. STGM

    USPTO

    What the hell goes on at the USPTO? (?!?!) Shouldn't someone be investigating their approval process?

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: USPTO

      they look to see if someone had trademarked a shop before. Saw that no one had. Granted it and left it to the lawyers to sort out.

      Oh after pocketing the fee of course.

  68. RISC OS
    FAIL

    And americans wonder...

    ...why most of the world thinks they are idiots

    1. midlandman2012

      Re: And americans wonder...

      Charles Dickens (An English writer of satire and also of some note) after his visit to the United States of America remarked (in writing) that he saw all Americans as carpetbaggers. If you don't know what a carpetbagger is then you should review the word and the history surrounding it, it explains all there is to know about Americans of the United States of America.

      The Americans should be referred to as USAIANS, not just Americans, everyone that lives in North America is an American but everyone is not an "American" please say what you mean and don't include the many other countries that are Americans in with USAIANS.

      Thank you for your considerations in this matter.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow there are still some losers out there that actually use shops

    What sort of tard buys a phone from a shop when it can be purchased via Amazon or direct from a carrier.

    FFS it's the 21st century, all you knuckle draggers need to catch up.

  70. Stretch
    Thumb Up

    this is good

    these ludicrous decisions undermine the entire system, which can only be a good thing.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is the matter with the American Legal System????!!!!

    Be it Apple, Microsoft, Samsug or any other firm that trades in America (or in fact the rest of the world), what is in the mind of the officials that grant these trademarks and patents in the USA. I wonder if the Yanks have trademarked or patented the following:

    A sheet of cardboard formed into a cylinder, with a length of soft textured paper that is perforated every few inches along it and the rolled round the cardboard tube. (Namely a Toilet Roll) Ideal though for wrapping most Apple products in and disposing of them down the usual place that used toilet paper is placed and flushed away in.

    1. midlandman2012

      Re: What is the matter with the American Legal System????!!!!

      Easy to answer your rhetorical question. Like all Western governments the legal systems have been co-opted by corporate interests. I live next door to the USA and what they do affects me and mine. Remember Magna Carta? The real reason for it was to remove the money grabbing power from the king and let the barons do it instead. The Americans copied that charter and even have a solid gold replica somewhere in Washington DC. Magna Carta did nothing for me or my family for generations, except of course to allow us to be robbed by the rich. No Robin Hoods, so sorry; we are all on our own. The law is an ass, corporate privilege is a crime as is political privilege and Aristocratic privilege. As for the rest of us worms the answer is simple.

      STOP BUYING THE CRAP AND WATCH THE CORPORATIONS DIE!

      Of course that won't happen either since we are apparently all in competition with each other to see who gets the best and latest goodie, which goodies by the way are mostly integrally defective.

  72. midlandman2012
    Thumb Down

    Appel you say!

    It's so dumb - who cares beside Appel. Why would anyone go to so much trouble? Stuff (any stuff) sells because it is desirable not because the store is cute, white or trademarked. Appel is in trouble because like Microsuft they have lost their real reason to be !

    As for the American (USA) Patent and Trademark office I truly believe they are completely co-opted by big biz and I would be more interested and concerned about an in depth write up on that. This one puny example serves no-one and just grist for the stupid mill; and I guess I just fell in too.

  73. David Strum
    Headmaster

    Paten-Nazis!

    Look, if these guys can patent air, they would do so! The US patent office has already given exclusive rights to US Biotech to own GMOs. If they have been successful selling us bottled water, they will sell us all sorts of things we take for granted as humanity’s intellectual property. They are the s**m of the earth – these people. Terrorist are evil, but these paten-Nazis are a different type of evil.

  74. MrZoolook
    Megaphone

    Next target is the High Stret.

    I can almost imagine the wording in the application already.

    A roadway along which cars and other motorised vehicles can travel. Which may or may not be winding, straight or even curved. It will be bordered by 2 slightly raised pedestrian walkways, one on either side. These walkways will be populated by individual retail units, which can be hired, or bought, for the purpose of selling goods and services to the general public.

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