Apparently trademark law does not allow for something which is just a description of the product. The reason for this is obvious. If Jobs’ Mob could trademark the world “mini” it could claim the right to anything that was “mini” which had to do with technology. It could not claim the rights to the mini-skirt although it might argue a cause for a Mini Clubman.
The examining attorney gave evidence from an internet search showing third party descriptive use of the term “mini” to describe the small size of various handheld digital devices. Therefore, the wording merely describes a feature of applicant’s goods, namely, a small sized handheld tablet computer.
But what might be worrying Apple is that the examiner also hinted that the word iPad cannot be used as a trademark. The USPTO said that the term “IPAD” is descriptive when applied to applicant’s goods because the prefix “I” denotes “internet.” In other words by developing a pad which can be used on the Internet Apple created a trademark which could not be er trademarked. This does not apply to the iPhone because it is not really a phone which is used on the internet.
If the Patent and Trademark Office is right, the Apple made a huge mistake and paid a fortune for a trademark which was not usable. But “iPad” already is a registered trademark of Apple in the US but we doubt that the Patent and Trademark office will allow the iPad mini.