The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has today published Apple’s latest trademark certificate, which covers the “distinctive design & layout” of its iconic retail stores. The Cupertino company originally filed for the trademark back in May 2010, nine years after the first Apple store opened its doors in Tysons Corner, Virginia.
The trademark consists of two designs, according to Patently Apple, which first discovered the new certificate — one in color and one in black and white. The designs both resemble the typical Apple retail store layout, with wooden tablets in the middle and at the sides where customers can play with Apple products, and a Genius Bar and accessory shelves at the back.
Apple retail stores are an important part of the history of Apple Inc., and they have attributed to the Cupertino company’s overwhelming success for many years. The first one opened in May 2001 in the Tysons Corner Center mall in Tysons Corner, Virginia. However, the first store to sport the current layout — the one protected by the trademark — was opened in Pasadena, California.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and former CEO, and Ron Johnson, its former Senior Vice President of Retail Operations, are credited with the design and layout of the Apple store, which consumer electronics company’s like Samsung and Microsoft have been working hard to replicate in recent years.
Apple now has around 400 retail stores worldwide, with global sales of $16 billion in 2011. The company is also opening new locations regularly. Its most profitable store is on Regent Street in London, where it sells around £60 million ($94.7 million) worth of merchandise each year. That equals around £2,000 ($3,157) per square foot.