U.S. patent office rebuffs Apple's iPad Mini trademark request
No deal, says USPTO; 'mini' is 'merely descriptive' of the tablet's size
Computerworld - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has provisionally denied Apple's trademark application for "iPad Mini" because the term is "merely descriptive" of the tablet's size.
Notice of the rejection was mailed to Apple on Jan. 25, but was only made public in the last week, according to Patently Apple, which first reported on the decision.
The iPad Mini was launched last October, and went on sale in early November at prices starting at $329. Apple filed for the trademark Nov. 15, 2012.
In denying the application, the USPTO said the examining attorney decided, "The wording merely describes a feature of applicant's goods, namely, a small sized handheld tablet computer." Elsewhere in the letter, the agency cited prior cases, including one that said the word "mini" was just a label for "goods that are produced and sold in miniature form."
The USPTO concluded that, "The mark is merely descriptive of a feature or characteristic of the goods and registration is refused."
It was not a final rejection, however, as Apple has until July 24 to respond to the ruling with counter-arguments or additional evidence to show why iPad Mini should be granted a registered trademark.
"iPad," of course, is a U.S. registered trademark owned by Apple; the Cupertino, Calif., company bought the rights to the U.S. trademark from Fujitsu in March 2010 for an undisclosed amount. Apple has also registered iPad in several foreign countries.
But the company has encountered resistance at times. Last summer, for example, Apple paid $60 million for the Chinese trademark after a little-known company there claimed it was the owner. In that dispute, Apple had contended it had purchased the Chinese trademark -- from the same firm, Proview -- in 2009.
The only other Apple product that includes "Mini" -- the Mac Mini, a pint-sized desktop shipped without monitor or keyboard -- is not a registered trademark, according to searches of the USPTO and Apple's own list.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
Read more about Macintosh in Computerworld's Macintosh Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Macintosh White Papers | Webcasts