I wish the USPTO would deny bogus applications that actually matter instead of rejecting brands just because their name is a little more descriptive. Of course, it is understandable that the USPTO might not want to have to deal with registrations for 50 variants of fundamentally the same darned thing... if you own the trademark for "iPad", you already are the only one who can call something an iPad 3G/4G/mini/whatever, so trademarking each of those individually is redundant.
So much time spent on such meaningless things. Apple blows. Take some of the suck out of your products. Everyone is well aware of all the bad parts of being a iPhone user. Fix some of those issues, and maybe they wouldn't have to spend to much money on legal crap to be competitive.
I don't really see why they would need it. The iPad name is trademarked, so it's not as if anyone can just go out and sell another device named "iPad mini". On top of that, adding "mini" to the end of a product name to describe a smaller version is not new or novel.
I feel for Apple (nah, who am I kidding?...), but in this case USPTO is right. Why? Because if this were granted, the next thing on the news would have been the multiple bogus lawsuits against any and every company that "dared" to use the descriptor MINI for any of their products.
Apple has already muscled a Polish (I think) grocery store that had the word Apple in their name. You know, because people can not discern between Apple and actual apples sold in a grocery store.../sarcasm
as someone already mentioned, if competitors release 'mini' products it has absolutely no affect on apple... A 'Nexus mini', or 'transformer mini' isn't an 'iPad mini' so why bother even trying to get the name "iPad mini" trademarked? No one could use that term since iPad by itself holds a trademark.