Apple loves to slap a patent on everything, including its product names, but it won't be receiving a trademark for the phrase "iPad mini" anytime soon.
According to the a letter from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which was sent in January and spotted this week, the term "mini" at the end of iPad is "merely descriptive" and is too generic to be an Apple trademark.
"Registration is refused because the applied-for mark merely describes a feature or characteristic of applicant’s goods," the letter said. "[It is not] a unitary mark with a unique, incongruous, or otherwise nondescriptive meaning in relation to the goods and/or services."
Although Apple can appeal the ruling, it would have to present a better argument as to why "mini" isn't just a descriptive adjective.