Apple Cube Patent
Apple was granted a patent for its landmark Fifth Avenue glass cube in New York. Reuters

Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Fifth Avenue flagship store glass cube is now a patented design in the United States.

The Cupertino, California, tech titan was granted a design patent this week for its flagship Fifth Avenue glass cube in New York by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The patent for the cube, which sits at the entrance of the Apple Store, designed in part by the late Steve Jobs, covers its current construction, which includes 15 glass panes. Larger glass panes were installed in 2011 as part of a $6.6 million renovation project, which replaced the original Apple glass cube design, which consisted of 90 smaller panes.

Apple Store Original Design
The original design of the Apple Store Fifth Avenue glass cube consisted of 90 smaller panes before they were replaced in 2011. Reuters

Apple was granted a similar patent last year by the patent and trademark office for its Apple Store entrance in Shanghai, which uses large glass panes to form a cylindrical structure. But unlike Apple’s Fifth Avenue cube patent, which covers only the design of the cube, the Shanghai store’s patent also covers the type of glass and construction methods used.

In addition to Jobs, the patent credits former Apple retail chief Ron Johnson, James O’Callaghan, Benjamin L. Fay, Robert Bridger, Peter Bohlin and architect Karl Backus for the store design. The patent, first filed in 2012, lasts for a period of 14 years.

It joins a number of design patents and trademarks held by Apple, including a trademark for its retail stores issued in 2010. Apple initially saw resistance from German patent officials when it attempted to extend this trademark to the European Union. However, an EU court ruled in July that Apple had the right to trademark its store designs, thereby preventing European stores from replicating Apple’s signature retail layout.