Apple loses iPad Mini, as ‘Mini’ only conveys a description

by Gareth Mankoo

Apple would not have foreseen this transpiring but as luck has it, there is bound to be something larger and more annoying than a distant competitor conquering your customer base. The company failed to seal the trademark on ‘iPad Mini’. The reason being that the word ‘mini’ is more of a descriptor for something smaller than the regular size but in proportion and hence, it’s just too much of an adjective, one would reckon. The finding states. “The term “MINI” in the applied for mark is also descriptive of a feature of applicant’s product.Specifically, the attached evidence shows this wording means “something that is distinctively smaller than other members of its type or class””. The case may threaten other applications that have taken this stance of nomenclature as well. The case further stated, “The examining attorney has also attached evidence from an internet search showing third party descriptive use of the term “mini” to describe the small size of various handheld digital devices. See attached evidence. Therefore, the wording merely describes a feature of applicant’s goods, namely, a small sized handheld tablet computer”

That’s not all! There’s a bit of problem with the word ‘iPad’ as well. Says the finding, “The term “IPAD” is descriptive when applied to applicant’s goods because the prefix “I” denotes“internet.” According to the attached evidence, the letter “i” or “I” used as a prefix and would be understood by the purchasing public to refer to the Internet when used in relation to Internet-related products or services. Applicant’s goods are identified as “capable of providing access to the Internet”. When a mark consists of this prefix coupled with a descriptive word or term for Internet-related goods and/or services, then the entire mark may be considered merely descriptive.”

[Via – Forbes]