USPTO denies Apple's trademark application for iPad mini

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

    Maybe the problem is that Apple didn't make the product's name a singular word (i.e. "iPadMini")


     


    None of those are a single word. All the third party ones are trademarked.

  • Reply 22 of 56
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Meh. This just opens the door for everyone else to call their tablet "iPad mini".


    The couldn't because the "iPad" name is patented and copyrighted.


     


    They could however name the galaxy tab 7 the galaxy tab mini if they wanted too.

  • Reply 23 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

    They could however name the galaxy tab 7 the galaxy tab mini if they wanted too.


     


    They could do that WITH the trademark. Why couldn't they?


     


    Absolute double standard here. "Can't trademark mini in a name", except they've given hundreds of names trademarked "mini" before. Someone needs fired.

  • Reply 24 of 56
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member


    Here is a current list of apple trademarks:


     


    http://www.apple.com/legal/trademark/appletmlist.html


     


    The name "Mac"  is trademarked, but "mini" is not.

  • Reply 25 of 56
    mechanicmechanic Posts: 805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    They could do that WITH the trademark. Why couldn't they?


     


    Absolute double standard here. "Can't trademark mini in a name", except they've given hundreds of names trademarked "mini" before. Someone needs fired.



    Lol I didnt say there wasnt a double standard but with what the patent office told apple that would seem to be what there indicating.


     


    lol maybe they got an inspector that is upset at apple for some reason and he's sticking it to them:).  Heck everyone else isimage.

  • Reply 26 of 56
    vaporlandvaporland Posts: 358member
    So when they registered the 'iPod mini" trademark, nobody at USPTO objected, but the 'iPad mini" trademark won't fly?
  • Reply 27 of 56
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member


    Nothing new or unusual here.


     



    • Apple tried to trademark "iPad mini" without disclaiming the word "mini" by itself, which is required when tacking on merely descriptive words like mini


    • USPTO denied for the reason of "Refusal - Merely Descriptive".


    • Apple can try again using a "acquired distinctiveness" argument (with evidence) and the above disclaimer, and it'll probably go through.


     


    A similar sequence happened when Apple applied for a trademark on "App Store"...


     



    • Apple tried to trademark "App Store".


    • USPTO denied with the same reason of "Refusal - Merely Descriptive".


    • Apple reapplied, this time claiming Acquired Distinctiveness, while denying any claim on the words App or Store.


    • USPTO approved use pending opposition.


     


    The difference between the two applications is that it's doubtful anyone would challenge "iPad Mini", whereas Microsoft filed opposition to "App Store" and that one is still up in the air.

  • Reply 28 of 56
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    When the Japanese used the term "Business is War" I bet many people never realised how true that was.

    You fight your competitors, your customers, your suppliers, your own investors, the media, the governments of the world, sometimes your own employees, and now the patent office.

    Anybody remember the most effective strategy for fighting when surrounded?

    Circle your wagons, people...

    [IMG]http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/22937/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

    Edit: ;)
  • Reply 29 of 56
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GTR View Post



    You fight your competitors, your customers, your suppliers, your own investors, the media, the governments of the world, sometimes your own employees, and now the patent office.


     


    Nothing that dramatic in this case.  


     


    It was simply a lazily done trademark application, that most likely will be fixed up and approved.


     


    In fairness, while looking up the records, I saw that the application for "iPod nano" had gone through fairly easily (except for several minor oppositions from companies with trademarks like Nano Media, Nano this or that, none of whom fought hard enough to stop it), so maybe the Apple lawyers doing the "iPad mini" filing thought that its application would go through just as easily.

  • Reply 30 of 56
    nchianchia Posts: 123member
    I think Samsung has Nano in the name of a fridge.

    Anyway, too early for April Fool's.
  • Reply 31 of 56
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,309member


    This rejection is nonsensical. Apple has a registered trademark for iPod nano. Nano describes the size, although not literally. I think on appeal this decision could be reversed.


  • Reply 32 of 56
    desuserigndesuserign Posts: 1,316member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by vaporland View Post



    So when they registered the 'iPod mini" trademark, nobody at USPTO objected, but the 'iPad mini" trademark won't fly?


    No such trademark.


    [As Mechanic's Apple link indicates:  post #25 ]


    Quote:



    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    This rejection is nonsensical. Apple has a registered trademark for iPod nano. Nano describes the size, although not literally. I think on appeal this decision could be reversed.



    While conceptually I see your reasoning and even agree that "nano" is a size descriptor, it seems to me that "nano" isn't even in the same ball park with "mini" in terms of reaching a threshold of  "mere descriptiveness." At the time the iPod nano came out, I would guess many people had no real idea of the meaning of "nano" (even in metric-centric locals,) whereas pretty much everyone has used the word "mini" generically for decades. I can't think of any product (much less one that predates the iPod nano) that incorporates "nano" in the name, whereas I can think of hundreds that use "mini." Perhaps this is the USPTO's path of reasoning.

  • Reply 33 of 56
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bleh1234 View Post



    iPod mini, Mac mini, Cooper mini, ... 


     


    Okay, I have to step in here because so many people are quoting this nonsense.  


     


    It's "Mini Cooper" not "Cooper mini" and yes, it is a trademark.  


     


    The mini does stand for "small" in the same way as the iPad mini, but perhaps putting it backwards makes the difference?  In any case, the ruling makes no difference to Apple's branding except that Samsung will probably come out with a "mini" something just to be dicks about it (they specialise in that sort of 'mucho-macho' behaviour).  My feeling is that this whole article/situation is weird, but pretty much the exact definition of "much ado about nothing." 

  • Reply 34 of 56
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by KDarling View Post


     


    Nothing that dramatic in this case.  


     


    It was simply a lazily done trademark application, that most likely will be fixed up and approved.


     


    In fairness, while looking up the records, I saw that the application for "iPod nano" had gone through fairly easily (except for several minor oppositions from companies with trademarks like Nano Media, Nano this or that, none of whom fought hard enough to stop it), so maybe the Apple lawyers doing the "iPad mini" filing thought that its application would go through just as easily.



     


    As usual, you haven't bothered to even check minimal facts here and are just making this shit up.  


     


    - It couldn't really be described as "lazily done," when the whole thrust of most of the articles on the subject (including this one), is that the application was done in an identical way to every other trademark application they make, can it?  


    - "iPod nano" is quite a different sort of mark and whether or not it passed is irrelevant


     


    So your entire characterisation is incorrect. 


     


    Nano is a modifier related to microscopic size.  When used in a way that suggests it's not literally microscopic, it's being used colloquially and just adds a little uniqueness to the brand name in question.  Because it's use in this way is so common, it is irrelevant if there is a "nano media," "nano pizza," or "nano-nanu" or anything similar.  To deny it on that basis, would be like denying a company from using "super" as a modifier in their name because some other company used it before (there are millions of companies that use/used "super").  


     


  • Reply 35 of 56
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Yet they have "iPod" and "iPod nano" both trademarked. Not sure how "iPod nano" made it through when "iPad Mini" didn't. Is the word "nano" too esoteric while "Mini" is generic?

    Mini is more generic than nano. In standard language, 'mini' means something small, so it's a simple description. 'Nano' is not used in common language, but when it is used, it is something microscopic, so it is not a literal description.

    Or, it could be a technicality as KDarling suggests.
    dagamer34 wrote: »
    The use of the word "Windows" to refer to the name of an operating system is distinct, which is why it has a trademark.

    Not true. By the time Microsoft got the Windows trademark, 'windows' was widely used to describe those rectangles on your computer screen with information inside. In fact, the use and terminology of 'windows' predates Microsoft's use of "Windows" to describe their product.

    The USPTO seems to have messed up. During the Lindows lawsuit, Microsoft sued Lindows' owner to try to have their use of 'Lindows' stricken down. As the case progressed, Microsoft's position was so weak that they ended up paying Lindows a large sum of money to drop the case. It never should have been allowed in the first place and if anyone had pushed hard enough, it would have been invalidated.
  • Reply 36 of 56


    I disagree with USPTO. If Apple had named this product the "Mini iPad" then the decision would be correct, because the "mini" as I used it is merely an adjective used in the English adjective position. However, "iPad mini" is the product's name, and the "mini" does not stand in the position of an English adjective. 


     


    The examples USPTO gives are not applicable and can (and should) be distinguished. Their examples are "DOC-CONTROL" where DOC means Document and was therefore denied as being simply a descriptor, "The Breathable Mattress", denied for Breathable being merely descriptive. 


     


    USPTOs decision and rationale is quite without merit. 

  • Reply 37 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,904member
    There's no Apple trademark on Mac Mini either AFAIK, tho I think Apple claims it's trademarked.
  • Reply 38 of 56
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bleh1234 View Post



    iPod mini, Mac mini, Cooper mini, Arduino mini, TiVo mini etc.... just too common



     


    It doesn't mean those those are all trademarked in the same way. The mini here describes a smaller iPad. iPad is trademarked. Did you check if something like "TiVo mini" was trademarked as opposed to just TiVo? This doesn't mean other brands can now use the name iPad mini.


     


    Quote:


    Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post


    The couldn't because the "iPad" name is patented and copyrighted.


     


    They could however name the galaxy tab 7 the galaxy tab mini if they wanted too.





    Given that I remember his prior posts, I believe it was sarcasm.

  • Reply 39 of 56
    kdarlingkdarling Posts: 1,640member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


    As usual, you haven't bothered to even check minimal facts here and are just making this shit up.  



     


    On the contrary, as usual I'm someone who not only understands the process, but actually looked up the specific documents involved.... and then explained to everyone exactly why the application failed... and how it'll probably be resubmitted and pass.


     


    Quote:


    - It couldn't really be described as "lazily done," when the whole thrust of most of the articles on the subject (including this one), is that the application was done in an identical way to every other trademark application they make, can it?  




     


     


    The government refusal noted that the web page specimen chosen to go with the application was insufficient.  I've never seen that happen on an Apple trademark application before.    


     


    Furthermore, as I pointed out, Apple had recently gotten dinged for using "merely descriptive" words with their AppStore application, so it's not like they weren't warned. 


     


    Finally, as I also pointed out, it is almost always required that common descriptive words (e.g. "mini") be disclaimed.


     


     


    The upshot is that this was not an application with a lot of work put into it, but rather one that let the USPTO point out its common errors (see above).

  • Reply 40 of 56


    Maxipad v, ipadmini... might be a debate.

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