Microsoft awarded trademark for retail store design

If you were looking to sell computers in a room with four curved tabletop and walls of seamless video screens, be careful, Microsoft might come after you with their Microsoft Store “trade dress” trademark registration 4036534 as of three days ago.

It was only two years ago Gizmodo leaked a comprehensive design document with sketched plans for a Microsoft Store. A few months open, the real thing showed up in Arizona. Now, 14 stores (open and planned) are scattered all around the US.

Interestingly, Microsoft almost missed their re-approval application by a day having been refused its original application on the 15th of February 2011. A response was required within 6 months to avoid abandoning the application. Like a high school student, the response was submitted a day before on the 14th of August. Turns out even lawyers procrastinate.

8 insightful thoughts

  1. I remember when Gateway brand used to have it’s own computer stores locally, they did not fare well like Apple stores did. Others tried it with home media computer stores with limited success as well, MS may have something here particularly if they also sell Windows phones and Windows tablet devices at same time. Give consumers a chance to test the devices hands on and they may find foothold if people like them.

    1. They used to have kiosks in OfficeMax stores in my area.

      I remember reconfiguring a Gateway Professional M933 computer to do decent gaming rather than just office work. The kiosks typically had much better configuration options available than the website. I also remember taking the final configuration and finding items like the dedicated graphics were unavailable on the website. Also the option to downgrade to Windows 98 was also lacking on the website which I had done on my configuration for an extra $80. :(

      For those not familiar with that model (M933) it was targeted directly at a business being it lacked any dedicated graphics. It also came with WIndows ME by default (ugh!)

      In the end the system turned out to have a standard Intel motherboard inside (save for proprietary board mount locations) and it had lacked a drive activity light so I added my own, albeit bright, led to do just that. Worked nicely. It was my beginnings in PC modification and hacking. Those were the days…

  2. Is this website and this design “trademarked”? Its just that I wanted to create my own weblog site on other computer related things, but I don’t want to seem impolite by copying, or worse, face a lawsuit.

  3. Yay! Microsoft likes to keep proving they are stupid and entertaining the world that way! Apple Store has actual Apple products to sell. MS shop can only show people a huuuge blue screen of death along the walls.

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