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Apple has been denied iPad Mini trademark

Apple has been denied the iPad Mini trademark by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on the grounds of being 'merely descriptive'.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has refused Apple’s ‘iPad Mini’ trademark application. Although the letter was sent to Apple in January, it was only recently made public. The Cupertino company has six months (starting from when the letter was sent) to re-make its case before the matter is considered ‘dead’ by the USPTO. Another option would be to provide additional evidence or make a more convincing argument in support of the original registration.

Apple now has to show that the iPad Mini is substantially different to its larger and older brother, the iPad. Though the company has secured the iPad trademark, the use of iPad Mini was nowhere in the application. Hence Apple cannot rely on its original iPad trademark to make use of an iPad Mini trademark. Now the company has to show the Mini as a completely different product and that could prove to be a challenge. The USPTO goes as far as to suggest for a re-evaluation to stand a chance, Apple should drop the word ‘Mini’ from the application.

The USPTO was also unhappy with the web page specimen Apple provided to help make its case. The Trademark Office dismissed it as being ‘mere advertising material’ and insufficient to distinguish exactly what the consumer will be purchasing.


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Alex Storey, 2013-04- 1 (Update: 2013-04- 2)