Unsurprisingly, Apple moved to file a name trademark application shortly after the iPad mini launch back in October.
However, an oddly dickish letter from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has come to light, essentially deeming the iPad mini name as “merely descriptive”.
The letter is dated January this year, and is shared by the slightly baffled folks at Patently Apple.
Apple is told, in no uncertain terms, that the name iPad mini cannot be trademarked, as each of its components is descriptive.
In particular, ‘i’ denotes an internet-ready device; ‘Pad’ is synonymous with ‘tablet’ (an attachment demonstrates such via third-party websites); and ‘mini’ simply refers to the device being small.
Similarly, the USPTO rejected an application for “The Breathable Mattress” in 2006, as the words retain their original dictionary definitions and “achieve no different status but remain a common descriptive compound expression”.
The USPTO also cites the “likelihood of confusion” between the iPad and iPad mini (what the..?), while rejecting the Apple product page supplied in the initial filing (a well-established and previously-accepted Apple manoeuvre when it comes to trademark applications) as invalid.
Apple has six months from the date of the letter (January the somethingth) to respond.