U.S. Patent Office Withdraws Primary Objections to Apple's 'iPad Mini' Trademark Application

Last week, we noted that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had issued an initial office action denying Apple's application for a trademark on the term "iPad mini".

The examiner's primary objection to Apple's application related to all of the elements of the "iPad mini" name having been judged as descriptive rather than contributing to a unique product name. A second objection related to Apple's use of the iPad mini overview page as its specimen proving that the named product was being offered for sale.

ipad_mini_promo
At the time, we noted that a resolution to the issue would likely be relatively straightforward, with Apple simply needing to show that the "iPad mini" term was an extension of its already distinctive "iPad" trademark and submit a new specimen satisfying the examiner's objection.

Based on a newly published office action from the USPTO, dated last Wednesday, the issue has in fact mostly been resolved without Apple having had to address the examiner's objections. Presumably responding to the publicity surrounding the initial decision, the USPTO has preemptively withdrawn its two main objections to Apple's objections.

This Office action supersedes any previous Office action issued in connection with this application.

Upon further review of the application, the examining attorney has determined that the following refusals issued in the initial Office action should be withdrawn. The examining attorney apologizes for any inconvenience caused.

REFUSALS WITHDRAWN:

The Trademark Act Section 2(e)(1) descriptiveness refusal and the Sections 1 and 45 specimen refusal are both withdrawn.

The new document continues to alert Apple to several other issues with the trademark application, including potential refusal should earlier pending applications from other companies seeking to protect the names of their electronics products with "mini" in them end up being granted. No action on this issue is, however, required by Apple at this time.

The document also holds firm on the requirement that Apple add a disclaimer to its application noting that it only seeks to protect the term "mini" when used as part of the "iPad mini" name. The disclaimer would allow other companies to use the "mini" term in their own product names.

Related Roundup: iPad mini
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Neutral)
Related Forum: iPad

Top Rated Comments

goobot Avatar
119 months ago
The reviewer was stupid anyway, I can understand the whole mini thing but seriously complaining that the buy button on the site wasn't to his liking?.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacDav Avatar
119 months ago
Typical Government bureaucracy. Government can't even deliver mail without going into billions of debt every year. :rolleyes: More and bigger Government is what we need. :rolleyes:
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
119 months ago
Darn, well I guess this means I can't name my next child "iPad Mini" after all. Had my hopes up.

Since this is about commercial trademarks, were you intending to sell your child?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
119 months ago
Ah, those objections were real and not an April's Fools prank?

Seems they were both real and an April's fool prank at the same time, since the USPTO withdrew them without Apple doing anything. The "i = internet" was nonsense, as shown by 200 million iPods without internet access. "Small iPad" or "8" iPad" would be descriptive, "iPad Mini" which less so. And claiming that a whole page advert for an iPad Mini with a "Buy now" button doesn't show the iPad Mini is for sale, that's nonsense.

So I suppose someone pranked his collegues at the USPTO, and everyone else. Of course everything the USPTO does is by definition "real".
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sundog925 Avatar
119 months ago
Yawn. Wake me up tomorrow with good news!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SmokyD Avatar
119 months ago
Darn, well I guess this means I can't name my next child "iPad Mini" after all. Had my hopes up.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

RIP iPod Feature

RIP iPod: A Look Back at Apple's Iconic Music Player Over the Years

Friday May 13, 2022 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple earlier this week announced the discontinuation of the iPod touch, and because it was the last iPod still available for purchase, its sunsetting effectively marks the end of the entire iPod lineup. To send the iPod on its way, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the most notable iPod releases over the last 21 years. Original iPod (2001) Introduced in October...
iOS 16 mock for article

Gurman: iOS 16 to Include New Ways of System Interaction and 'Fresh Apple Apps'

Sunday May 15, 2022 6:14 am PDT by
iOS 16 will include new ways of interacting with the system and some "fresh Apple apps," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has said, offering some more detail on what Apple has in store for the upcoming release of iOS and iPadOS set to be announced in a few weeks at WWDC. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman wrote that while iOS 16 is not likely to introduce a major face-lift to...
maxresdefault

Unbox Therapy Shares Hands-On Look at iPhone 14 Pro Max Replica

Monday May 16, 2022 4:40 am PDT by
YouTuber Unbox Therapy has shared a hands-on look at the iPhone 14 Pro Max using what he claims is a one-to-one replica created by third-party case makers with access to detailed schematics and dimensions for Apple's new upcoming flagship smartphone. As with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, in 2022, we are expecting a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, but this time the Pro...
iOS 15

Apple Releases iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 With Wallet and Podcast Updates

Monday May 16, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5, the fifth major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 15 operating systems that were initially released in September 2021. iOS and iPadOS 15.5 come a little over two months after the launch of iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4. The iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in...
14 16 inch 2021 mbps back to back feature orange

Five Things You Still Can't Do With a MacBook Pro

Wednesday May 11, 2022 11:16 am PDT by
It's been over 200 days since Apple debuted its redesigned MacBook Pro lineup. Offered in 14-inch and 16-inch display sizes, the new-look MacBooks wowed Apple fans and creative pros alike with their powerful custom Apple silicon, mini-LED screen, and multiple connectivity options. But there are still some things you can't do with a MacBook Pro. Here are five features some Mac users are still...
apple mac ipad watch trade in

Apple Launches Limited-Time Bonus Trade-In Credit for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch in Many Countries

Wednesday May 11, 2022 5:14 am PDT by
Apple has launched a special limited-time offer for iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac, and iPad trade-in that offers customers additional credit when trading in their only device for a new one. The offer is being run in several countries including the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, and France. In the UK, Apple is offering up to £50 of extra trade-in credit...
airpodsprodesign

Kuo: AirPods, MagSafe Battery Pack, and Other Apple Accessories Also to Switch to USB-C in Future

Sunday May 15, 2022 5:59 am PDT by
Earlier this week, well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that Apple plans to release at least one iPhone 15 model with a USB-C port in 2023. Now, in a follow-up tweet, he has claimed that accessories like AirPods, the MagSafe Battery Pack, and the Magic Keyboard/Mouse/Trackpad trio would also switch to USB-C in the "foreseeable future." Both the iPhone and all of the aforementioned...