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USPTO Denies Apple 'iPad Mini' Trademark

By - Source: Patently Apple | B 15 comments

USPTO has told Apple the 'mini' part of iPad Mini cannot be trademarked.

Apple launched the iPad mini almost six months ago. The device is old news now, and the rumor mill is already talking about the next iteration of the 7-inch tablet. However, despite the name 'iPad mini' is well and truly imprinted on our brains, Apple has been dealt a bit of a blow regarding the name of its miniature tablet.

Patently Apple reports that Apple has been denied the iPad Mini trademark. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's reason for denying Apple the right to the iPad Mini name is simple enough: The USPTO believes the 'mini' in 'iPad mini' is more of a descriptor than anything else. In a letter mailed to Apple back in January, the USPTO said, "The term 'MINI' in the applied for mark is also descriptive of a feature of applicant's product. Specifically, the attached evidence shows this wording means 'something that is distinctively smaller than other members of its type or class.'"

Ultimately, the Patent and Trademark Office refused registration because the applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of the product in question. As Patently Apple points out, this isn't the only iPad trademark drama Apple has had. The company had to buy the rights to the iPad name from Fujitsu. Even then, it took a while for Apple to win the iPad trademark in China. No word on whether or not Apple plans to respond to the judgement. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can read the full ruling on Patently Apple.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Nakal , April 2, 2013 12:12 PM
    Apple's stock must be dipping into their bank account. They couldn't pay off the USPTO this time.
  • 14 Hide
    InvalidError , April 2, 2013 12:32 PM
    What? The USPTO actually denies an application?

    I'm surprised.

    I wish the USPTO would deny bogus applications that actually matter instead of rejecting brands just because their name is a little more descriptive. Of course, it is understandable that the USPTO might not want to have to deal with registrations for 50 variants of fundamentally the same darned thing... if you own the trademark for "iPad", you already are the only one who can call something an iPad 3G/4G/mini/whatever, so trademarking each of those individually is redundant.
  • 10 Hide
    bdcrlsn , April 2, 2013 12:18 PM
    De-wait for it-nied!
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Nakal , April 2, 2013 12:12 PM
    Apple's stock must be dipping into their bank account. They couldn't pay off the USPTO this time.
  • 10 Hide
    bdcrlsn , April 2, 2013 12:18 PM
    De-wait for it-nied!
  • 14 Hide
    InvalidError , April 2, 2013 12:32 PM
    What? The USPTO actually denies an application?

    I'm surprised.

    I wish the USPTO would deny bogus applications that actually matter instead of rejecting brands just because their name is a little more descriptive. Of course, it is understandable that the USPTO might not want to have to deal with registrations for 50 variants of fundamentally the same darned thing... if you own the trademark for "iPad", you already are the only one who can call something an iPad 3G/4G/mini/whatever, so trademarking each of those individually is redundant.
  • 6 Hide
    cRACKmONKEY421 , April 2, 2013 12:44 PM
    So much time spent on such meaningless things. Apple blows. Take some of the suck out of your products. Everyone is well aware of all the bad parts of being a iPhone user. Fix some of those issues, and maybe they wouldn't have to spend to much money on legal crap to be competitive.
  • 10 Hide
    zorky9 , April 2, 2013 12:48 PM
    I believe "mini" is already taken by Stayfree.
  • 2 Hide
    masop , April 2, 2013 1:04 PM
    josiahbraedenwhat Robert said I am surprised that a mom can earn 5949 in 1 month on the computer. did you look at this link http://www.spamcrapandmalware.com


    Yeah, your mother paid me the $5,949 she earned last month for a hot night of ***.

    Can anyone stop this garbage spam on the forums? It's been going on for long enough.
  • 4 Hide
    WyomingKnott , April 2, 2013 1:16 PM
    masop

    The only spam I see here is in the quote in your post! (grin)
  • 2 Hide
    wiyosaya , April 2, 2013 1:18 PM
    @masop - yes, you, too can stop spam. How? Report it, but don't quote it. If it is already reported, rest assured, it will disappear.
  • 1 Hide
    twelch82 , April 2, 2013 1:33 PM
    I don't really see why they would need it. The iPad name is trademarked, so it's not as if anyone can just go out and sell another device named "iPad mini". On top of that, adding "mini" to the end of a product name to describe a smaller version is not new or novel.
  • 2 Hide
    warmon6 , April 2, 2013 1:37 PM
    WyomingKnottmasop The only spam I see here is in the quote in your post! (grin)


    Oh those playful mods. :p 
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , April 2, 2013 1:38 PM
    I feel for Apple (nah, who am I kidding?...), but in this case USPTO is right. Why? Because if this were granted, the next thing on the news would have been the multiple bogus lawsuits against any and every company that "dared" to use the descriptor MINI for any of their products.
    Apple has already muscled a Polish (I think) grocery store that had the word Apple in their name. You know, because people can not discern between Apple and actual apples sold in a grocery store.../sarcasm
  • 0 Hide
    invlem , April 2, 2013 8:33 PM
    as someone already mentioned, if competitors release 'mini' products it has absolutely no affect on apple... A 'Nexus mini', or 'transformer mini' isn't an 'iPad mini' so why bother even trying to get the name "iPad mini" trademarked? No one could use that term since iPad by itself holds a trademark.
  • 0 Hide
    heero yuy , April 3, 2013 5:22 AM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QbzBW6uy2M
    I thought this was In order
  • 0 Hide
    hoofhearted , April 3, 2013 6:32 AM
    Why not change their names althogether? Call their 10" and 7" ipads, the maxipad and minipad.
  • 0 Hide
    cravin , April 3, 2013 12:39 PM
    Ahahaha. Stupid fucking apple