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Apple Loses the iPad Mini Trademark 144

An anonymous reader writes in with bad news for Apple. "It would appear that Apple has lost an attempt to trademark the 'iPad Mini.' This time it's not nefarious foreigners subverting the just order of things simply by trademarking something several years before Apple did. No, that was what happened in Brazil with the IFone. Nor is it people nefariously selling the rights to everywhere but China but Apple's lawyers didn’t notice, as happened with iPad in China. No, this time it's the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office saying that Apple simply cannot have a trademark on 'iPad Mini.' For the simple reason that the law doesn't allow them to trademark something which is just a description of the product."
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Apple Loses the iPad Mini Trademark

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  • Who else? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hahn ( 101816 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @02:29PM (#43325735) Homepage
    Who else is actually going to name their product iPad Mini hoping that it will confuse buyers looking for Apple's iPad Mini? Oh, I see you there Samsung...
  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @02:35PM (#43325767) Journal

    The rejection states that "iPad" itself is also merely descriptive. If this holds up (and I doubt it will), Microsoft could make a "Microsoft iPad", and LG, Samsung, Asus, would also be able to make "iPad" devices of their own. This would be a disaster for Apple, but I seriously doubt it is going to happen.

  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @02:55PM (#43325921) Journal

    "Mini Cooper" isn't merely descriptive -- there's no large Cooper that a Mini Cooper is a small version of.

    "M&M's Minis" indeed trademarked, but contains the disclaimer "NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "MINIS" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN". The USPTO suggests that if Apple wants the mark, they should re-apply with a similar disclaimer (once they get past iPad itself being descriptive)

    "Mac Mini" is not a registered trademark, nor is "iPod Mini"

    "iPod Nano" is trademarked without the disclaimer.

    "Micro Machines" has a disclaimer on "Machines". It's probably considered other than descriptive because it refers specifically to toy vehicles, not "machines" in a general sense.

    And yes, the USPTO is inconsistent.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @03:14PM (#43326027) Journal
    There must tons and tons of products and registered trademarks around the name Padmini in India. An actress Padmini (no lastname) [] is the top hit for Padmini in google. I know at least one car model was named Padmini. Every town will have a cafe or a grocery store or a hotel (lodge in local parlance) named Padmini. So I would not be surprised if some one there challenges iPad mini as "too similar to my registered brand name" there. Even if the case has no merit someone might sue just for the publicity or with some hope of reaching a settlement with a multinational company with deep pockets.

Things equal to nothing else are equal to each other.