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Apple gains store-design trademark in EU

The electronics giant adds to its intellectual property for its store layout, after earning a similar trademark in the US.

An image of the Apple Store at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Calif. Apple

Apple won a court ruling Thursday that allows it to register its store layout as a trademark in the European Union, after already gaining similar protection in the US.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the judgment will allow Apple to prevent competitors from mimicking the layout of its retail locations, which are usually well-lit, open spaces with Apple devices set atop long wooden tables.

Last year, the maker of iPhones and iPads gained a US trademark for its retail store design, which covers the facade, as well as the interior furniture and fixtures, lighting, and "Genius Bar" technical support section.

In US trademark law, any copy of the Apple Store would need to be able to confuse customers into thinking it was an Apple retail outlet before the trademark would have any legal ramifications on the offending shop.