Apple’s iPad Mini trademark request has been denied by the United States Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO).
The USPTO sent Apple a denial letter on January 24 but only recently revealed its decision to deny the iPad Mini trademark request.
In its letter, the USPTO says the “iPad Mini” name is close enough to the Apple iPad trademark that it does not provide the “significant distinction” necessary to issue a new patent trademark.
According to the rejection letter, the name “iPad Mini” simply “describes a feature or characteristic of applicant’s good.”
The rejection letter then goes on to note:
“In this case, both the individual components and the composite result are descriptive of applicant’s goods and do not create a unique, incongruous or non-descriptive meaning in relation to the goods being small handheld mobile devices comprising tablet computers capable of providing Internet access.”
Apple can submit an amended application for the trademark through July 24. In its amended application, Apple must explain exactly why the iPad Mini needs its own trademark compared to its full-sized iPad line.
The USPTO reviewer who denied the Apple iPad Mini trademark was also not pleased with the fact that Apple simply submitted a copy of the company’s product page for the device. The USPTO reviewer said the application “appears to be mere advertising material.”
Apple likes to maintain strict control over its product lines; however, in this case, the company is already protected by owning the iPad name in the United States. Even if a company wanted to release a product named the “iPad Mini,” they would be in violation of the company’s iPad trademark.
Apple has not said whether or not it will amend the iPad Mini trademark application. Given the company’s track record, we’re pretty sure they will chase the iPad Mini trademark as far as the law will allow.