USPTO Denies Apples iPad Mini Trademark

In world rift of patent and trademark infringement battles, Apple is the leader in pushing their agenda. Patently Apple is reporting the U.S Patent & Trade Organization (USPTO) denied Apple’s request to trademark the iPad Mini.

The judge in the trademark application ruled that “mini” was merely a descriptive term and simply too generic so therefore could not be applied when considering a patent. The decision is provisional, and Apple still has until July 24, 2013 to submit counter arguments for the approval of the trademark.

Apple owns the US Trademark for “iPad” after they purchased the moniker from Fujitsu in March 2010. Apple also owns the trademark in several other countries including China, where the settled in last summer for US $60 Million.

“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”. See attached definition. The word “mini” has been held merely descriptive of goods that are produced and sold in miniature form… Therefore, the wording merely describes a feature of applicant’s goods, namely, a small sized handheld tablet computer”

According to the USPTO, it’s quite simple. You can’t patent an adjective describing your product. You can’t trademark the Green Game Console, and then patent it as Green, or the small watch, and expect to be granted a trademark for the descriptor small. In the end, this is all about Apple attempting to protect their brand and their image.

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