In 2010 Apple applied for a trade-mark in the United States for the interior design of their retail stores. The trade-mark was registered on January 22, 2013 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, after being previously rejected twice. The newly-registered trade-mark consists of an illustrative drawing showing the clear glass storefront, recessed lighting units, cantilevered shelves and rectangular tables. Store interiors are normally protected by the common law as part of a retailer’s “trade-dress”, but recently businesses, including Apple competitor Microsoft, have been seeking the protection of a registered trade-mark. Apple has had issues with counterfeit Apple stores in China, and it may be that the registration of the trade-mark in the U.S. is intended to be the precursor for registration of the same mark in other countries.
For more information, see: arstechnica.com/apple/2013/01/apple-granted-trademark-protections-for-the-interior-of-the-apple-store/