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Apple unlikely to obtain trade mark for name “iPad Mini” in US
The US Patent and Trade Mark Office (“USPTO”) has in a letter to Apple indicated that it would be unlikely to grant a trade mark for “iPad Mini” based on its initial description.
In the letter from the USPTO, it said the “applied for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant’s goods”. The terms “mini” and “pad” and the prefix “i-” were all descriptive, it decided and did 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”.
Some have interpreted the letter from the USPTO as an outright rejection of the trade mark however Apple has until 24 July to amend the application. Apple will have to specifically demonstrate that the existing “iPad” trade mark has acquired distinctiveness and include a disclaimer noting that it is only attempting to trade mark the word “mini” when used as part of the entire “iPad mini” term, as other companies should be permitted to use the descriptive term “mini” for their own products.
If you have any queries in relation to this blog or advice on the registrability of your trade marks please contact John North, Head of Corporate and Commercial on 020 7583 2222 or email@example.com or Sonia Mohammed firstname.lastname@example.org.