The iPad mini is one of Apple’s biggest successes to date, but that doesn’t matter to the US Patent and Trademark Office, which has turned down Apple’s request for a trademark on the iPad mini because it is “merely descriptive.”
According to the BBC, the USPTO turned down Apple because the iPad mini name did not create a unique meaning.
The ruling, which was handed down in July, said the “applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant’s goods”.
The terms “mini”, “pad” and the “i” prefix were all descriptive, according to the USPTO.
Apple can — and doubtlessly will — challenge the ruling until July. But it may not make a difference.
Looking at Apple’s own list of registered trademarks, Apple has seemingly never been granted a trademark for any product with the name “mini”… for example, the Mac mini or (now defunct) iPod mini.
Seems like the USPTO likes all its patents to be maxi-sized.