Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Coming Soon: Sources tell TheVerge that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is preparing to launch its online music streaming service this summer. Apple has been rumored to be working on a rival to Pandora (NYSE:P) and Spotify, but had reportedly encountered difficulties negotiating licensing fees with major record labels. Last month, reports emerged that Apple had demanded licensing fees of 6 cents per 100 songs streamed, roughly half of what Pandora pays. Now, sources say that Apple has moved closer to an agreement with at least two record labels, Universal and Warner Music Group, making the iRadio service a virtual certainty to launch this year.
No Go: The U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office has denied Apple’s effort to trademark the iPad Mini name, Forbes notes. The patent office has ruled that the word “mini” is simply a “descriptive of a feature of applicant’s product” and thus cannot be trademarked. While that might be a minor irritant to Apple, the patent office ruling also raises questions about the iPad trademark itself, noting that the term ”iPad” is “descriptive when applied to applicant’s goods because the prefix ‘i’ denotes ‘Internet.’” The patent office further noted that “Pad” could be considered descriptive, too. The patent office did not indicate that it intended to reverse Apple’s trademark on the iPad name. Yet.
More Problems: The state-run China Consumers Association (CCA) is targeting the warranties that come with Apple’s iPads in China, Fortune notes. The watchdog organization posted a notice on its website saying that Apple had been directed to “equalize the warranty periods in China when compared to other countries” with regards to iPads. The CCA says that iPads are portable computers and are “entitled to two-year after service packages for key components.” Apple generally provides one-year product warranties for all products sold around the world, but has been forced to offer two-year warranties for some products in Europe after pressure from regulators. The CCA’s notice follows a series of attacks against Apple’s warranty policies by China’s state-run media outlets last month.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.