Apple Wins Patent on Transparent Cube Store Design

46Those dreams of massive cities full of beautiful Apple store-style glass cube buildings? They’ve been officially been smashed.

Apple has won a patent on its glass cube building design, effectively guaranteeing that the only see-through cube buildings you’ll see in U.S. cities — at least the ones that look like Apple stores — will be property of Apple.

Discovered by Apple Insider, the patent document reveals that the design patent, filed in October 2012, was officially granted on Aug. 26 of this year. It lists late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as one of the design’s inventors.

Of course, radically designed buildings with largely glass facades are nothing new in the U.S. In fact, renowned architect Philip Johnson beat Jobs to the “transparent building” concept by many decades with his famed Glass House, built in 1949. Johnson’s Glass House has been lauded by architecture experts for the way it allows the “landscape to flow right through the house,” and has been described as a “wonderful illusion.”

Fans of Apple’s glass cube store on 5th Avenue in New York may say the same of the company’s striking, transparent structure. Apple’s Johnson-inspired designs are even more apparent in its “flying saucer” event auditorium.

But despite historical antecedents, given the number of companies knocking off Apple’s products and even store designs, its decision to protect the finely crafted look of its stores makes business sense.

Apple’s patent adds to the company’s existing trademark of its distinctive interior store design in 2013, as well as the patent for its transparent cylindrical store entrance design that same year.

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