Apple Wins Trademark Ruling to Extend Retail Store Layout to Europe
Apple can trademark the layout of its retail stores in the European Union, just like it did in the US. The company secured a ruling in the European Union today as the EU’s top court said Apple’s flagship stores meet the three criteria for a trademark: (1) “they constitute a sign,” (2) “can be represented in a graphic,” and (3) “can distinguish the goods or services sold by one company from those of another,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
Today’s ruling is the result of Apple’s years-long effort to extend the US trademark gained four years ago. While Apple’s stores met the three criteria for a trademark years ago, just like they do now, the company faced resistance from German authorities last year.
In 2013, the German patent office said that the layout of a shop cannot be trademarked, so it woke up with a lawsuit from Apple. Since the case arrived in front of the European Court of Justice, today’s ruling means a green light for Apple.
As a result, Apple is allowed to replicate its store layout across the EU, and it can stop the competition from replicating its style.