Having started to run out of daft patents litigation it can throw at its rivals, Apple has managed to score some new ones which should make the retail industry gasp.
Jobs’ Mob has apparently got patents on “a clear glass storefront surrounded by a panelled facade” and a shop with “oblong table with stools”. Apparently any shop which sticks video screens flush mounted on the back wall can also expect a visit from Jobs’ Mob lawyers.
Given that most High Street stores have a clear glass storefront surrounded by a panelled façade we would have thought that most of them will be expecting a writ from Jobs’ Mob any day now. There are a number of high street shops in Rome which have oblong tablets with stools, such as our favourite ice cream parlour.
Apparently Apple fears that other stores will want to follow it into shareholder oblivion by copying its Cathedral approach to flogging hardware. Microsoft has already indicated that it likes what Apple did with its stores and Jobs’ Mob feel that Steve Ballmer might copy what it did.
The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), which seems keen to approve patents without doing too much research, approved Apple’s request to trademark the design and layout of its stores last week.
According to ZDNET the approval was granted more than two years after the company first filed the application to trademark its stores in May 2010.
So far the only place which has really attempted to create a fake Apple store has been in the Chinese city of Kunming. Several other fake Apple Stores were opened in the same city but were later ordered to shut down by Chinese appleatchix.
The trademark on Apple Stores does not extend beyond the US and Apple is expected to apply for its daft trademark in civilised countries on the basis that it has it in the Land of the Fee.