Apple trademark for ipad-mini was rejected

Apple has been thwarted in its initial attempt to trademark the iPad mini name. The company filed an application with the USPTO back in November of 2012, but was unsuccessful in securing a mark.This doesn’t mean Apple has been permanently blocked from receiving a TM to put next to the iPad mini name. For now all it means is that the legal eagles in Cupertino need to provide additional documentation that makes a stronger case.

According to the Patent Office’s response, there were a couple problems with the original application. The letter sent to Apple first notes that “the applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant’s goods.” It’s not impossible to obtain a new trademark for a phrase that’s nothing more than one already-trademarked word with an adjective attached.

Apple has done it before with numerous iPod variations, after all. And curiously, a second reason that the iPad mini application was that the company didn’t submit the same kind of supporting specimen that it did in 2006 for its iPod nano trademark.

That time around, Apple included a screenshot from its web store showing the various iPod nano models and their pricing. It also showed where the nano fit inside the iPod range, nestled between the iPod shuffle and the top-end iPod.

November’s application for the iPad mini, however, merely included a screenshot of the landing page for Apple’s latest tablet. The USPTO reply notes that Apple needs to show the iPad mini next to the “necessary ordering information,” in its filing imagery next time.

Once that’s submitted and Apple’s lawyers include a disclaimer that they’re not trying to Bogart the term “mini” and only want to use it as part of the iPad mini branding, they’ll be good to go.

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