Europe’s highest court ruled that Apple can trademark its store’s design and layout in the European Union similar to the trademark that was provided to the company in the US.
The ruling will prevent retailers from copying the layout of the well designed Apple retail stores in Europe which have innovative lighting and wooden tables to display the devices.
Last year, Germany refused to grant trademark to Apple when the store design was submitted. Germany’s Federal Patents Court reasoned that the design merely meant an aspect of business.
“The court concludes that the representation of the layout, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trademark for services,” the court said.
The European Court of Justice rule in Apple’s favor after an appeal was filed by the company. The goods, design and graphics of the company had distinguished features which fulfilled the criteria, according to the court.. However a condition stated that Apple’s trademark blueprint must be “capable of distinguishing” its goods with other retailers. Apple received a trademark from US last year which offers protection for interior furniture, lighting and “Genius Bar” support section.
European Court of Justice ruling is the final arbiter on EU law and the German court cannot appeal any further. Apple move to seek trademark rights in its own premium reseller stores will ward off retailers who copy the designs while selling Apple or any other devices.[ Via ]