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 Presumably responding to the publicity surrounding the initial decision, the USPTO has preemptively withdrawn its two main objections to Apple's objections.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the examining attorney has determined that the following refusals issued in the initial Office action should be withdrawn.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REFUSALS WITHDRAWN:

The Trademark Act Section 2(e)(1) descriptiveness refusal and the Sections 1 and 45 specimen refusal are both withdrawn.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 5
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
98 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)
Avatar
98 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)
Avatar
98 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)
Avatar
98 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)
Avatar
98 months ago
Yawn. Wake me up tomorrow with good news!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
98 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)

Top Stories

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Kuo: Mini-LED Displays to Debut in Apple's Next iPad Pro

Tuesday September 22, 2020 11:45 pm PDT by
Following his report earlier this week indicating that Apple will be accelerating adoption of mini-LED displays in its iPad and Mac notebook lineups thanks to better than expected development from potential secondary supplier Sanan Optoelectronics, analyst Ming-Chi has released a new report today sharing a bit more perspective on the mini-LED display market as it relates to Apple. Kuo says...