Apple Can Trademark Layout of Its Stores: Europe’s Court

Apple can finally get a trademark for its retail store layout thanks the latest ruling from the European Union court. It was ruled that Apple’s retail stores are worthy of legal trademark protection within the continent of Europe. This ruling is similar to last year’s retail store trademark request in the United States.

Apple’s journey to trademark retail stores

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) initially submitted its store design to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for protection earlier this decade. The application was finally approved in January 2013. Shortly after that, Apple applied to extend the trademark to Europe. The company was rebuffed by a patent office in Germany which claimed the patent was not valid under EU law. The courts then escalated the review to ECJ with the final say for EU law interpretations.

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One of the many advantages Apple has over major rivals is elegantly designed stores. Many of the company’s rivals attempted to copy their store layout and design, which is why it is necessary for Apple to protect their designs with trademarks.

Apple plans to expand retail business

Right now Apple is in a major retail store expansion phase. The tech giant’s new retail executive Angela Ahrendts is overseeing the launch of a flagship store in an old building located in Edinburg, Scotland. The exact location of the store will be on Prince Street across from Balmoral Hotel. Although Apple won’t divulge details such as store layout or the number of employees the store will have, the store is expected to be on the large side.

Apple isn’t the only major retailer building up the economy for Princes Street. Other major retailers include Marks & Spencer, H&M, and TopShop. Unfortunately, the western half of the street is home to vacant storefronts which failed to gain traction with customers.