The United States recently denied Apple a trademark for the “iPad mini”. It might seem bizarre on the surface, especially because the general public is already used to the product name and the device has been on the market for many months now, but BBC said the action was taken because the name is “merely descriptive” and isn’t exclusive.
Apple owns the iPad trademark, so it seems that the approval process should have been quick and easy, but apparently simply adding “mini” doesn’t work. Apple can appeal the ruling and has until July of this year to convince the court that the title is more than just descriptive. The official letter to Apple said the name “applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant’s goods.”
Apple recently settled a lawsuit with a Chinese firm named Proview that owned the “iPad” trademark. The company ended up paying Proview $60 million.
It may be tough to come up with a name for a smaller tablet that isn’t merely descriptive. How did the iPod nano get approval?