Duets readers everywhere may recall my shock back in June 2011 when I encountered the first Microsoft brick-and-mortar store at the Mall of America. Now, about two years later, the store is still there, located right across the aisle from Apple . The crowd levels in the stores seemed close to the crowd levels I witnessed in 2011 – wild crowds in Apple, tepid customers in Microsoft. In the meantime, Microsoft has continued to open new stores around the country, with one of the most recent stores opening in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Kelly Clarkson performed and for some reason Microsoft encouraged fans to camp out the night before the concert. Suprisingly, Ohioans actually showed up to spend the night on a cold sidewalk without even the promise of a new Grand Theft Auto game to keep them warm.
However, one thing has changed since that fateful morning at the mall – Apple has received two trademark registrations for its store design in class 35, one claiming color and another without a color claim. Will these registrations give Apple the confidence it needs to send Microsoft a cease and desist letter? Or will the purveyor of cool sit back on its trademark laurels and wait for easier targets? Apple’s lack of action against Microsoft’s store designs thus far seems to indicate the latter. We’ll keep our eyes out for future updates on the Apple trademark front and in the meantime keep fingers crossed for no more fake Apple stores.