Apple's rather magnificent staircase in its Shanghai store has won a patent. The cylindrical design, made from curved glass slabs, is comprised of a glass tube and has stairs that snake around. It looks like something that James T. Kirk might have used when he wanted to get changed after a hard day on the bridge of the U.S.S.S. Enterprise. It is beautiful.
It's not the first time Apple has trademarked something to do with its retail spaces—pardon me, "the environment we inhabit." In fact, the whole look of the store, conceived by Steve Jobs, with its blond wood, glass storefront, and amazing Jobsian glass staircase, is now covered by the USPTO. What architectural patents will the firm's upcoming new "spaceship" campus throw up? We should prepare to be amazed and delighted.