According to the Wall Street Journal Apple has received an interesting new trademark for the three-dimensional shape of the iPod. Traditional trademarks have generally been granted for two-dimensional designs (logos, etc.) so actually trademarking the shape of the iPod is unusual. One key advantage of the trademark over patents is that while the latter expire after a period of time, a trademark can be continually renewed.
In some ways this move on Apple's part is rather curious as the shape in question is the classic iPod shape, and I think at this point it's clear that the classic is more the past than future of iPod design. The awarded trademark itself is for the "design of a portable and handheld digital electronic media device comprised of a rectangular casing displaying circular and rectangular shapes therein arranged in an aesthetically pleasing manner." However, Apple has also applied for a similar trademark for the iPhone. For those of us of a certain age the phrase "look and feel" can't help but come to mind, though this time with rather more success for Cupertino.
[via Daring Fireball]