Apple is one of the most protective companies around, never hesitating to patent the most minuscule ideas—rectangular smartphone design, how an app icon looks. It's why the company has been involved in so many suits worldwide, and why it's earned a ruthless reputation. That surely won't be changed anytime soon—under Tim Cook or otherwise—as Reuters reports Apple is aggressively filing patents on how its retail stores are designed.

Really, this isn't the least bit surprising. Apple minimalist retail experience is one of the company's most prized possessions. Which other company shows off opening ceremonies during important keynotes? The patents were actually filed all the way back in May 2010, but were only just approved on Jan. 22.

According to the filing, the trademark includes "a clear glass storefront surrounded by a paneled facade" and, inside, an "oblong tables with stools… set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall."

Apple has previously patented that floating glass staircase look, and the company looks like its on its way to adding to its portfolio. To get full approval, Apple will need to show that there's potential for a consumer to confuse an infringing store with that of Apple's, Reuters said.