Apple has just been awarded a patent for the design of its glass cube Fifth Avenue store in New York City.
The company, which obtained a similar certification from European patent authorities for the design scheme of its retail stores a few weeks ago, was awarded a 14-year patent for the "ornamental design" of its flagship store in Manhattan.
The company first applied for the patent in October of 2012. The design on the patent is said to represent the current look of the 32-foot cube, which has become one of the most popular landmarks for snapshot-happy tourists in New York City since it was first unveiled in May of 2006.
Apple's flagship store was designed by the company's late CEO Steve Jobs, which is why he was named as one of the inventors for the patent. Jobs was said to have paid for the construction of the store, and was once the owner of it. Other inventors named in the certification include Karl Backus and Peter Bohlin from architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Apple Head of Real Estate Robert Bridger, former Apple Senior Director of Retail Real Estate, Design and Development Benjamin Fay, Former Senior Vice President for Retail Ronald Bruce Johnson and structural engineer James O'Callaghan.
The company redesigned the Fifth Avenue store in November 2011. The structure, which used to have 90 sheets of glass, was revamped with just 15 large panels. The reconstruction of Apple's flagship store was said to have cost an estimated $6.7 million, which covered everything from the removal of the old structure to the installation of the new facade.
While the Apple store's glass structure can be considered a design achievement, it's not necessarily impervious to damage and the elements. Last January, one of the glass panels for the Fifth Avenue store shattered due to an accident involving clean up crews with snowblowers. The incident, which occurred after a heavy snowstorm, caused the breakage of one of the giant panes on the structure's southeast corner. Apple's flagship store, which is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week, remained open in spite of the damage.
That was not the first time that the structure had a catastrophic run-in with the weather. In June of 2013, the store was also flooded due to heavy rainfall.