File this in the "WTF!" category.. Apple has been granted a trademark of its retail store design and layout. This news comes after Apple trademarked the leaf and patented the rectangle. While some may say that Apple is taking a preemptive measure against fake stores disguising themselves as Apple Stores, we think this has something to do with Microsoft.
Apple didn't trademark the floor, walls, or lights, but did trademark details of the store's shelves and alignment of its tablets, as well as placement of its products. "Rectangular tables arranged in a line in the middle of the store parallel to the walls and extending from the storefront to the back of the store. There is multi-tiered shelving along the side walls, and a oblong table with stools located at the back of the store, set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall," Apple described in the trademark.
Apparently, reports are stating that Apple has trademarked its store layout for "protection" from copycat Apple Stores in China. This trademark was also apparently filed in 19 other countries such as China, Russia, Turkey, and other European countries.
On the flip side of the coin, we have Microsoft and the company's Microsoft Store. For those that haven't been to a Microsoft Store just yet, it is eerily similar to the Apple Store. The Apple Store has an area for support called the Genius Bar, while Microsoft has a very similar area called the Guru Bar. When Microsoft was preparing to launch its Stores, many Apple Store managers were approached and offered money to jump ship. While the design and layout of the two rival stores may look somewhat similar (such as the flooring and the bright colored employee shirts with badges around their necks), Microsoft offers a better layout with a dedicated screen and seating for helpful training sessions and other social events. However, the question here is, with all the stupid and sometimes funny patent/trademark wars going on out there, will Apple use this trademark to go against Microsoft in an attempt to cripple Microsoft's Store? It only makes sense.
Now, for those of you who own both Apple and Microsoft products, and have visited both stores, which store did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments below!