An original look can be a great selling point for a store as well as an easy way for customers to recognize the brand without even looking at the name on the building. However, what if that attractive and recognizable shop front and interior design does not just invite in customers, but also copycats? In other words, how can brand owners keep copycats from running away with their concept?
This article looks at the various options for protecting the interior design of shops and store fronts. After a quick look back at the CJEU’s decision about the Apple Store, this article delves into the possibility of copyright protection for shop interiors, as accepted in the recent Dutch decision in Shoebaloo v Invert, and explores whether the doctrine of unfair competition provides any further options. Subsequently, this article takes a closer look at a number of EUIPO Board of Appeal decisions related to Parfois’s Community Design Right registrations for its store layout. Finally, the pros and cons of each of these intellectual property rights and claims for the protection of store interiors are held up to the light.
Click here for the full article, as published in the European Intellectual Property Review.