Copycat Apple Stores now outlawed in UK as Apple wins EU layout trademark

No more copycat Apple Stores in the UK as firm earns EU layout trademark
Copycats beware

Electronics stores across the UK may be organising swift layout changes after Apple won an EU trademark to cover the layout of its distinctive Apple Store retail locations.

The trademark, which is similar to one Apple owns in the United States, will prevent copycat stores, of which there are currently plenty across the UK, mimicking the look and feel of the official Apple outlets.

The stateside mark covers the Genius Bar, the lighting, the furniture and the facade of Apple Stores, which doesn't leave a whole lot for those 'me too' stores to legally copy.

Apple must prove that there's confusion among consumers when they step into an offending store before legal action can be brought in the US.

Taking it to the top

The European Court of Justice ruled: "The Court concludes that the representation of the layout of a retail store, by a design alone, without indicating the size or the proportions, may be registered as a trade mark for services."

Seems a rather high court for a ruling on the look of a retail store, but this is Apple we're talking about.

Will stores around the country be rushing to change their layouts in light of the ruling? Let us know your thoughts below.

Via Wall Street Journal

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.