US Patent and Trademark Office denies Apple trademark for iPad Mini

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has denied Apple’s application for getting a trademark on the trade name ‘iPad Mini’. The official reason cited by the US Patent and Trademark Office for the rejection is that the ‘mini’ in the name ‘iPad Mini’ is simply a descriptor of the product (in this case, the Apple tablet), rather than being a unique name for the tablet.




The rejection letter for Apple’s trademark application from the US Patent and Trademark Office considered the ‘Mini’ part of the iPad Mini’s name just a descriptive suffix, as in their opinion: "the applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant's goods."’.


Apparently, the trademark application was filed shortly after the launch of the iPad Mini in October 2012, and Apple was notified of the denial on January 24. However, the denial letter has just been made public now, over 2 months later.


The term ‘mini’ is being considered to be merely descriptive of goods that are produced and sold in miniature form. Clearly, it is far too generic a term to be trademarked in a name, and could potentially create a lot of problems for products that are similarly named in the present and future.


There were more reasons provided in the letter for the application denial as well. A web page is apparently an invalid way of demonstrating the trademark use of a product name, as it fails to include a sufficiently clear and precise description of a product’s uses, and Apple ended up attaching images from its product web pages in the trademark application.


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