Microsoft Awarded Trademark for Retail Store Design

By Joseph Mandour on October 10, 2011

California Trademark RegistrationLos Angeles – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently registered a trademark to Microsoft Corp. for its design for a retail store that will sell tech-related products.

The new trademark will cover the design of “a retail store with four curved tabletops at the front and rear sidewalls and a rectangular band displaying changing video images on the walls.” The goods and services covered under the trademark to be offered at the stores include computers, computer hardware & software, computer games, portable music players and accessories, cell phones and accessories, video game consoles and accessories, webcams, books, clothing, back packs, messenger bags, computer bags, and novelty items.

Spring-boarding off of the success of the Apple retail stores, Microsoft has plans to open seventy-five retail stores across the United States, with the first stores most likely to launch near the headquarters of the Redmond, Washington-based company. No word yet on whether Microsoft will mimic the clean, simple design that has made the Apple stores so appealing to consumers.

Regardless of store design, Microsoft will run into problems if its stores aren’t filled with products that people are interested in buying. With little in its portable media device portfolio to rival that of Apple, it will be interesting to see the public’s response to Microsoft stores popping up in malls across the country.

Nevertheless, the computer software giant, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, has been dropping hints at good things to come from its partnership with Nokia, the Finnish designers who have created some of the most popular products in the cell phone industry. Despite some tech critics’ opinions that Microsoft retail stores will likely fall flat, Microsoft is smart to obtain the trademark to protect itself from potential copycats. Apple recently had to take legal action in a similar situation against a company in China that was copying the look and feel of the Apple stores which was confusing consumers in China into believing that they were in an Apple store when in fact they weren’t.

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