In a blow to Apple, the U.S Patent and Trademark office have declined the company’s motion to trademark the term ‘iPad Mini’ declaring that “Mini” is a word used to describe a smaller, miniature or downsized version of any product. The term, according to the Patent’s office is merely descriptive and does not relate to the services and products Apple provides in anyway and hence will not be considered a valid trademark application.
The reviewer of the application said that the term is a part of a set of expressive terms that simply talks about the physical attribute of the product it is used in conjunction with rather than have any special relation or implication for the Cupertino based company. Apple can challenge the decision but will have to come up with some solid defense to explain to the reviewer panel why the term “iPad Mini” needs to be trademarked in favor of the company. The argument against the trademark are that terms in the word-pair “iPad Mini” , taken either individually or as a composite product do not in anyway uniquely identify the product and the trademark application is invalid.
The company in November last year, filed a trademark application stating, in effect that the term Mini should be trademarked in relation to any handheld device like smartphones, tablets, camera, personal digital assistant, a global positioning system device, electronic book reader and other handheld technology that Apple comes out with. This was however rejected by the trademark office. Tough luck Apple, maybe another word that can be trademarked!