Jump to content



Photo

Apple gets patent for its 'Bricks & Mortar' shop design

apple patent apple store

  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Fahim S.

Fahim S.

    Neowinian Senior

  • 2,970 posts
  • Joined: 15-April 02
  • OS: Windows 8 - OG
  • Phone: Google Nexus 4 16GB by LG

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:14


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 to US Trademark 85036990. The application to exclusively own this particular store arrangement - specifically "rectangular tables arranged in a line" - was filed in December 2010 and granted on 22 January 2013.



Source: http://www.theregist...rk_shop_design/



#2 The Laughing Man

The Laughing Man

    Neowinian Senior

  • 2,964 posts
  • Joined: 18-May 03
  • Location: Kyoto, Japan

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:21

Wonder what this would mean for the Microsoft stores. lol

#3 Soldiers33

Soldiers33

    Neowinian Senior

  • 2,456 posts
  • Joined: 01-September 06
  • Location: London
  • OS: Windows 7 Professional

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:26

this is stupid how can you patent a store layout?

#4 Nick H.

Nick H.

    Neowinian Senior

  • 11,566 posts
  • Joined: 28-June 04
  • Location: Switzerland

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:28

Whoever works for the patenting department needs to have a heavy dose of logic common sense applied to them. They've become a laughing stock in my eyes.

#5 Sranshaft

Sranshaft

    Neowinian

  • 701 posts
  • Joined: 11-November 05

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:32

"rectangular tables arranged in a line"

...Seriously? This is patent-able?

#6 The_Decryptor

The_Decryptor

    STEAL THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

  • 19,414 posts
  • Joined: 28-September 02
  • Location: Sol System
  • OS: iSymbian 9.2 SP24.8 Mars Bar

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:33

this is stupid how can you patent a store layout?

The same way you can patent a bag or a statue of a woman, patents aren't just about technical inventions.

#7 billyea

billyea

    Your Two Cents

  • 2,050 posts
  • Joined: 15-July 06
  • Location: Noitacol

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:36

"rectangular tables arranged in a line"

...Seriously? This is patent-able?

I think a school cafeteria has prior art on this.

#8 n_K

n_K

    Neowinian Senior

  • 5,376 posts
  • Joined: 19-March 06
  • Location: here.
  • OS: FreeDOS
  • Phone: Nokia 3315

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:39

I like the bottom of the article;
'The emergence of copycat Apple Stores in China likely prompted Apple to file for protection, and the US trademark states that Apple filed an international application for the trademark in 19 other countries including China, Russia, Turkey and several Euro countries. ®'
I think they need educating in patent systems, the US patent system does not apply to china where the copycat stores are and has no impact on if the patent filed in china is granted or not which is where apple would need it to be granted to do something about said stores.

#9 szo

szo

    Neowinian

  • 596 posts
  • Joined: 04-May 03
  • Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:48

[/font][/color]

Source: http://www.theregist...rk_shop_design/


I think media likes to blow things out of proportion, when they don't understand the specific patents or trademarks. Apple has trademarked its Apple logo with the leaf, just like Mcdonalds trademarked the "M" logo, Louis Vutton with the "LV" logo. Shell has a trademark for its "Shell" logo and Yahoo has a trademark for its letter "Y" logo. All major companies trademark their logo symbols. There's nothing wrong with that.

Regarding the joke about patenting a rectangle, read the entire patent's complete description on the FCC page. It's not only a patent for a rectangle. It's a design patent for the device itself including home button layout and general shape. There are still tablets that are rectangular, but they shouldn't infringe upon the specific design of the ipad. The older galaxy tabs looked very similar, but recently, their newer designs are different. Patenting device designs is not new. Nintendo has design patents for button arrangement and controller designs. Fashion companies have design patents on their perfume bottles and much more. Apple's iconic store brings in billions of dollars for Apple and it's a major company strength. Millions of users visit it every time. They want to keep that to themselves. Other major retail chains also have patents on their store designs too specifically big fashion companies. Some of the technology that Apple has developed includes single slabbed curved glass that they've used for some of their glass stores and are using it to build the outsides for the new spaceship styled campus.

You always hear the media blabber about Apple getting patents. Yet all companies have trivial patents. They may seem trivial to you, but for them it is worth a lot. Amazon has the "one-click buy shopping cart" patent and Google has a design patent for their homepage "consisting of an input box with a button." Google also has design patents on their server enclosures and much more. Microsoft also has similar trivial patents. Design is one of the biggest strengths for Apple and Apple knows this specifically. Apple's design patent for the store in its entirety. I'm sure companies will have similar interiors, but if the design mimics the Apple store to a large extent, then it will be a problem.

As mentioned, the design patent is for the store in its entirety and not only just the layout of the tables. You won't get sued if you have similar table arrangement but a different exterior wall design.
Posted Image
Posted Image

The problem arises when companies mimic Apple designs and try to take advantage of the massive popularity of the Apple brand. Companies like luxpro made ipod shuffle closes to the exact shape and design. I can tell you there are more 3rd party clones or copied designs for Apple's products than for any other product.

#10 szo

szo

    Neowinian

  • 596 posts
  • Joined: 04-May 03
  • Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:58

I like the bottom of the article;
'The emergence of copycat Apple Stores in China likely prompted Apple to file for protection, and the US trademark states that Apple filed an international application for the trademark in 19 other countries including China, Russia, Turkey and several Euro countries. ®'
I think they need educating in patent systems, the US patent system does not apply to china where the copycat stores are and has no impact on if the patent filed in china is granted or not which is where apple would need it to be granted to do something about said stores.


Things are changing! The Chinese government have always tried better protecting patents and trademarks of foreign companies, after many issues such as when a local chinese company extorted money out of Apple for the ipad trademark. They've always tried to do better IP protection, but the image of china is very bad in the best. Their issues of favoring local companies has caused problems too. But they do have very strict laws, just not always enforced properly.

http://www.zdnet.com...est-7000007243/

Things are also changing about Apple's image in China. As Apple's making giant deals with China Mobile, which is the world's largest carrier. Some of the terms of the agreement have been about better IP protection for their products in China.

#11 billyea

billyea

    Your Two Cents

  • 2,050 posts
  • Joined: 15-July 06
  • Location: Noitacol

Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:07

I think media likes to blow things out of proportion, when they don't understand the specific patents or trademarks. Apple has trademarked its Apple logo with the leaf, just like Mcdonalds trademarked the "M" logo, Louis Vutton with the "LV" logo. Shell has a trademark for its "Shell" logo and Yahoo has a trademark for its letter "Y" logo. All major companies trademark their logo symbols. There's nothing wrong with that.

This is okay. A consumer would be confused if two gas stations used the same logo. If they liked Shell, they wouldn't know what to trust!

Regarding the joke about patenting a rectangle, read the entire patent's complete description on the FCC page. It's not only a patent for a rectangle. It's a design patent for the device itself including home button layout and general shape. There are still tablets that are rectangular, but they shouldn't infringe upon the specific design of the ipad. The older galaxy tabs looked very similar, but recently, their newer designs are different. Patenting device designs is not new. Nintendo has design patents for button arrangement and controller designs.

This is ridiculous, as Apple's placement of these elements is an optimal design. Why rounded corners? Because sharp edges get caught on things and provide stress points for breaking the glass. Why home button in centre? Because it's placed at a good position for the thumb. Why bezel? Because otherwise hands would cover the screen. These are all obvious things, and are where technology would go Apple-or-not, so why should Apple be able to restrict the next level of technology advancement to their own company? Oh right, because the patent system is stupid.

Fashion companies have design patents on their perfume bottles and much more. Apple's iconic store brings in billions of dollars for Apple and it's a major company strength. Millions of users visit it every time. They want to keep that to themselves. Other major retail chains also have patents on their store designs too specifically big fashion companies. Some of the technology that Apple has developed includes single slabbed curved glass that they've used for some of their glass stores and are using it to build the outsides for the new spaceship styled campus.

Apple's store design isn't actually all that iconic, as it has parallels to a fashion store, but in white. In any case, without the Apple logo (which I'm okay with trademarking), it's not an Apple store, so there should be no problem with this.

You always hear the media blabber about Apple getting patents. Yet all companies have trivial patents. They may seem trivial to you, but for them it is worth a lot. Amazon has the "one-click buy shopping cart" patent and Google has a design patent for their homepage "consisting of an input box with a button." Google also has design patents on their server enclosures and much more. Microsoft also has similar trivial patents. Design is one of the biggest strengths for Apple and Apple knows this specifically. Apple's design patent for the store in its entirety. I'm sure companies will have similar interiors, but if the design mimics the Apple store to a large extent, then it will be a problem.

These trivial patents are "worth a lot" because they're trivial. They're so general that the companies that patent them can basically apply a licensing fee to anything that irks them the wrong way.

#12 Growled

Growled

    Neowinian Senior

  • 41,508 posts
  • Joined: 17-December 08
  • Location: USA

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:00

You guys thought I was trying to be funny when I said that next they would try to patent air.

#13 +shawncm217

shawncm217

    Neowinian

  • 233 posts
  • Joined: 19-February 06
  • Location: Overland Park, KS

Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:47

Someone should teach the patent office "Just say no."

#14 rfirth

rfirth

    Software Engineer

  • 4,221 posts
  • Joined: 11-September 09
  • Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • OS: Windows 8
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 620

Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:00

"rectangular tables arranged in a line"

...Seriously? This is patent-able?

this is stupid how can you patent a store layout?


You can't. But this isn't a patent. It's a trademark. Significant difference. And funny thing about trademarks... they never expire.

#15 trip21

trip21

    Neowinian

  • 766 posts
  • Joined: 16-June 04

Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:27

I think a school cafeteria has prior art on this.


My first thought was school classrooms are going to have to be re-arranged

Next weeks headline "Apple patents design of new HQ, Take Donut King and Krispy-Kreme to court. Also require Homer Simpson to change snack food!"