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Microsoft has been awarded a trademark on its design for a store selling all things high tech.

Trademark registration 4036534 covers the design of “a retail store with four curved tabletops at the front and rear side walls and a rectangular band displaying changing video images on the walls.” The trademark covers stores selling computer equipment, phones, books, backpacks and novelty items.

Microsoft is hoping to mimic the success of Apple in promoting itself via retail, and has plans to open 75 retail stores in the US. Apple stores are seen by some in the retail trade as design icons and they have even attracted the attention of the Simpsons. Microsoft’s early forays into retail have not proved as exciting, but the trademark will give them the right to take action against copycat operations.

El Reg suspects part of the problem is that Microsoft doesn’t have a killer retail product that would actually make anyone go to one of its stores on a regular basis. Certainly there are a few individuals who will queue up to be the first to own a new operating system, and then spend the rest of the night in a frustrating quest for drivers.

Redmond has nothing of the consumer appeal of an iPhone, certainly not its Zune or early Phone 7 handsets. Nevertheless the company is hinting at great things from its partnership with Nokia and the Finnish designers used to make some of the most popular phones in the industry. ®

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