USPTO Denies Apple 'iPad Mini' Trademark

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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  • Nakal
    Apple's stock must be dipping into their bank account. They couldn't pay off the USPTO this time.
  • bdcrlsn
    De-wait for it-nied!
  • InvalidError
    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.
  • cRACKmONKEY421
    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.
  • zorky9
    I believe "mini" is already taken by Stayfree.
  • masop
    josiahbraedenwhat Robert said I am surprised that a mom can earn 5949 in 1 month on the computer. did you look at this link
    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.
  • WyomingKnott

    The only spam I see here is in the quote in your post! (grin)
  • wiyosaya
    @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.
  • twelch82
    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.
  • warmon6
    WyomingKnottmasop The only spam I see here is in the quote in your post! (grin)
    Oh those playful mods. :p