U.S. Patent Office Rejects Apple’s Bid to Trademark iPad Mini

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By Vittorio Hernandez | April 1, 2013 10:47 AM EST

So far, Apple does not own yet the trademark to iPad Mini after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected its application. The agency told Apple that the iPad Mini mark only describes a feature or characteristic of the company's good.

Apple announced the iPad Mini on Oct 23, 2012 as the fifth major product in the iPad line, featuring 7.9 inches of screen size versus the 9.7 inches for the regular iPad. It released the device on Nov 2, 2012.

Its specs include resolutions of 1024 x 768, 5 MP and 1.2 MP cameras, Lightning connector, PowerXR SGX543MP2 graphics processor, A5 system-on-chip and the same audio processor as those in the iPhone 5 and iPad 4th generation which means it has Siri and voice dictation.

The basis of the USPTO is denying the application is that it considered the separate components of the name of the device, particularly, I, pad and mini.

"In 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. Therefore, the mark is merely descriptive of a feature or characteristic of the goods and registration is refused under Section 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act," PCMag quoted the letter which the Web site Patently Apple discovered.

Apple received the agency's letter on Jan 24, 2013, and it has until July 24, 2014 to appeal the agency's decision.

The USPTO said Apple needs to find a better way to distinguish the iPad Mini from the regular iPad.

Other devices on the market that uses the name mini include the Galaxy Mini, Google's Nexus 7 and the Microsoft Surface.

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