Apple Inc. (AAPL): Retail store layouts can be trademarked in the EU

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A court has approved the rights for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to trademark its retail store layouts throughout the European Union on Thursday. The EU Court of Justice approved Apple’s retail store layout trademark request, according to The Wall Street Journal. The decision was made after the store designs fulfilled key trademark criteria: they constitute a design and can be represented graphically. They also distinguish services and goods sold by Apple from other companies.

This decision reverses one from 2013 by the German Patent and Trademark Office, which ruled that a layout of a retail store could not be trademarked by itself. Other stores will not be able to replicate the signature Apple layout in Europe.

Apple earned approval to trademark its retail store layouts in the U.S. in 2010 after filing an application with the Patent and Trademark Office. The Apple retail stores are essential to Apple’s image so it is not surprising that it wants a trademark.

Apple hired Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts last year as its new SVP of retail and online stores. Apple also recently hired Tag Heuer’s vice president of sales Patrick Pruniaux.

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