The US Patent and Trademark Office has denied Apple's application for a trademark of the 'iPad mini', saying the case to own the phrase was too weak.
Apple has until July 24 to better explain how the iPad mini is different from the larger-sized iPad to counter the rejection.
The iPad mini mark "merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant's good," said the rejection letter dated January 24 but that emerged online last week.
"In this case, both the individual components and the composite result are descriptive of applicant's goods and do 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."
It was referring to the components of the device's name: "I," "pad" and "mini."
USPO added that Apple did not provide the USPTO reviewer a sample iPad Mini tablet, and provided product website pages instead.