Apparently Apple Inc. thinks they can.
Apple has already started the process of applying for U.S. federal trademark protection on the retail store layout:
On May 12th, 2010 Apple Inc. applied for a U.S. federal trademark under Class 035 Advertising and Business with the mark description of “The mark consists of distinctive design and layout of a retail store.”
- The USPTO has given the trademark serial number of 85036986.
- The USPTO has given the trademark serial number of 85036990.
Apple Inc also owns the patent to their in-store glass staircase. It appears now that Apple is attempting to create a unique trademark concept for glass store architecture.