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Apple loses iPad Mini trademark in US

Apple still has until July 2013 to win over the US PTO

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has turned down a request from Apple to use iPad Mini as trademark, saying that the name was just descriptive and did not make a unique meaning.

According to the agency, the letter ‘i’ or ‘I’ used as a prefix and would be understood by the public to refer to the Internet when used in relation to Internet-related products or services, while the term ‘pad’ refers to a ‘pad computer’ or ‘internet pad device,’ and ‘mini’ will merely be descriptive of goods that are manufactured and sold in miniature form.

"I 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," the agency said.

"Therefore, the mark is merely descriptive of a feature or characteristic of the goods and registration is refused."

However, Apple still has until July 2013 to explain to the US PTO how the smaller version of its tablet is different from its larger sibling to counter the rejection.

In addition, the USPTO reviewer found that Apple’s submission of its iPad Mini website page as a sample for the trademark fails to incorporate a picture or a required textual description of the goods in sufficiently close to the required ordering information/a weblink for ordering the goods.

During the fourth quarter of 2012, Apple shipped 22.9 million units of its iPad tablet that led to 48% rise in shipments over the same quarter in 2011.

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