Go Back   MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:15 AM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Apple's 'iPad Mini' Trademark Application Initially Denied, but Resolution Should Be Simple




Over the weekend, Patently Apple reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had refused Apple's trademark application for the term "iPad mini". While some such as The Verge's Nilay Patel were quick to note that the refusal was simply a first office action that is nowhere near final, the refusal does offer an interesting glimpse into the thinking of patent examiners.

The examiner's primary objection to Apple's application takes the view that the term is "merely descriptive" rather than creating a unique brand name that is worthy of protection. The examiner argues that all elements of the name, including "i", "Pad", and "mini" are not unique to the product being named.
Quote:
The term "IPAD" is descriptive when applied to applicant's goods because the prefix "I" denotes "internet." According to the attached evidence, the letter "i" or "I" used as a prefix and would be understood by the purchasing public to refer to the Internet when used in relation to Internet-related products or services. [...]

The term "PAD" is also descriptive of the applied for goods. The term "pad" refers to a "pad computer" or "internet pad device", terms used synonymously to refer to tablet computers, or "a complete computer contained in a touch screen." [...]

The term "MINI" in the applied for mark is also descriptive of a feature of applicant's product.Specifically, the attached evidence shows this wording means "something that is distinctively smaller than other members of its type or class".
The examiner goes on to suggest a means by which Apple could argue for uniqueness, noting that the company would have to specifically claim that its existing "iPad" trademark has acquired distinctiveness. This would appear to be a trivial argument for Apple to make, but it seems that it did not do so in its initial "iPad mini" application.

The examiner also notes that Apple should include a disclaimer noting that it is only attempting to claim a trademark on "mini" when used as part of the entire "iPad mini" term, as other companies should be permitted to use the descriptive term "mini" for their own products.

As a secondary objection, the patent examiner ruled that Apple's specimen submitted with the application was insufficient to prove that it was for a product being offered for sale. Apple's specimen showed the iPad mini overview page as it appeared at launch last year, with the examiner arguing that the "iPad mini" text and the "Buy Now" button were not in close enough proximity.
Quote:
The mark and picture of the goods on the specimen are not sufficiently proximate to the "buy now" tab, and it is thus unclear what consumers would be purchasing by clicking on this tab.
Apple's "iPad mini" trademark specimen
As with the prior objection, the examiner in this case offers Apple several means to rectify this issue, including using an alternative specimen that more clearly shows the item is being offered for sale as of the date being claimed in the application, or a shift to an "intent to use" application that requires no initial specimen and instead requires that Apple simply show that at some later date it did indeed offer the item for sale.

Article Link: Apple's 'iPad Mini' Trademark Application Initially Denied, but Resolution Should Be Simple
MacRumors is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:19 AM   #2
truettray
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: USA
I was afraid something like this would happen. I have to agree with the examiner on this one.
__________________
My Flickr
truettray is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:19 AM   #3
Peace
macrumors P6
 
Peace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Space--The ONLY Frontier
Is this examiner crazy or what ?

I'm baffled. The buy button isn't close enough and the consumer wouldn't know what they were buying ?


Peace is offline   18 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:19 AM   #4
SJism23
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canada
The patent examiner's explanations for the "i," "Pad," and "mini" trademarks are hilarious!
__________________
15" MacBook Pro (early 2011), 2.0 GHz i7, 16GB RAM; iPad 4, 32 GB; iPhone 6 Plus, 128GB
SJism23 is offline   8 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:20 AM   #5
bushido
macrumors 603
 
bushido's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: España y Germany
i have no idea what i just read

is he saying that the buy now button on its current location could imply that u r buying "iOS" "iCloud" or even "Tech Specs"? lololol
__________________
¡No hables a menos que puedas mejorar el silencio!
Don't judge me by my user name - I was young and stupid xD
bushido is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:21 AM   #6
Hakone
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Southern California
I thought pad meant something totally different...
Hakone is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:22 AM   #7
kayloh20
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
As weird as it sounds, I kind of understand the examiner's points about the iPad mini name...but his or her point about the "buy now" button is essentially calling consumers idiots.
kayloh20 is offline   9 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:23 AM   #8
bretm
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJism23 View Post
The patent examiner's explanations for the "i," "Pad," and "mini" trademarks are hilarious!
Well the i isnt. That's what it has always stood for. Whether it makes any sense or not. The iMac was the " Internet" Mac.
bretm is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:24 AM   #9
Menel
macrumors 601
 
Menel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
the prefix "I" denotes "internet." According to the attached evidence, the letter "i" or "I" used as a prefix and would be understood by the purchasing public to refer to the Internet when used in relation to Internet-related products or services. [...]
The lower case "i" prefix has denoted Intel micro-controllers since the 1970's... when referring to technology products.

e.g. i8080, i286, i386, i5, i7, etc.

__________________
iPhone 6 • iPad Air • Mac mini (i5, 2011)
Menel is offline   7 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:25 AM   #10
charlituna
macrumors G3
 
charlituna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJism23 View Post
The patent examiner's explanations for the "i," "Pad," and "mini" trademarks are hilarious!
For I and pad yes. Particularly since i=internet was an Apple 'invention'. But for mini, not so much. Apple has a trademark on iPad and the iPad mini is just a model of that item. Making 'mini' a model designation, not (in conjunction with iPad) the name of a unique item.
charlituna is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:26 AM   #11
jaymzuk
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayloh20 View Post
As weird as it sounds, I kind of understand the examiner's points about the iPad mini name...but his or her point about the "buy now" button is essentially calling consumers idiots.
In all fairness, the law of averages would suggest that a good proportion are idiots
jaymzuk is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:26 AM   #12
cameronjpu
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by bretm View Post
Well the i isnt. That's what it has always stood for. Whether it makes any sense or not. The iMac was the " Internet" Mac.
According to whom, exactly?

Anyway, this certainly makes one feel good about the paychecks that our government bureaucrats are drawing every couple weeks.
cameronjpu is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:27 AM   #13
KieranDotW
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: California
"Internet pad device" I'm fairly certain no one referred to tablets as "pads" before or since the iPad. Most say "tab" or "tablet", unless it's the Asus E Pad, but I think the inspiration for that name is pretty self explanatory (ooh look we changed one letter!)
KieranDotW is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:27 AM   #14
ekdor
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
I understand the need to protect these services. But this as it were, is a crock of ****. Maybe it's unclear in a third work country. Makes these guys look stupid.

Last edited by dejo; Aug 15, 2013 at 09:22 AM. Reason: restored post.
ekdor is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:27 AM   #15
Popeye206
macrumors 68030
 
Popeye206's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NE PA USA
Slow news day.
Popeye206 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:28 AM   #16
DarkWinter
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
...

"The mark and picture of the goods on the specimen are not sufficiently proximate to the “buy now” tab, and it is thus unclear what consumers would be purchasing by clicking on this tab."

If only there was a large picture of the product on the page...
DarkWinter is offline   6 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:31 AM   #17
mattopotamus
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymzuk View Post
In all fairness, the law of averages would suggest that a good proportion are idiots
I mean you are on the ipad mini page...what else would you be buying?
mattopotamus is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:32 AM   #18
GeekGuys
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
April Fools ?!?!?!?!?!
GeekGuys is offline   15 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:33 AM   #19
iGrip
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Send a message via ICQ to iGrip Send a message via AIM to iGrip Send a message via MSN to iGrip Send a message via Yahoo to iGrip Send a message via Skype™ to iGrip
Quote:
Originally Posted by kayloh20 View Post
As weird as it sounds, I kind of understand the examiner's points about the iPad mini name...but his or her point about the "buy now" button is essentially calling consumers idiots.
The proximity argument is the weakest one presented.

That is why so many posters focus on it, all the while ignoring the other, more compelling arguments.
iGrip is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:33 AM   #20
topmounter
macrumors 68000
 
topmounter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: FEMA Region VIII
Wow, Great, Awesome, another innovative new trademark from Apple.
__________________
In33weTrust.com
topmounter is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:33 AM   #21
GenesisST
macrumors 65816
 
GenesisST's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Where I live
I havent' read the article, but I am wondering: If iPad is trademarked (is it?), then why do you need to trademark "iPad whatever"?
__________________
Kenmore microwave, Frigidaire oven, Fisher & Paykel fridge, LG washer & Dryer and Crane toilet
GenesisST is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:37 AM   #22
Peace
macrumors P6
 
Peace's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Space--The ONLY Frontier
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenesisST View Post
I havent' read the article, but I am wondering: If iPad is trademarked (is it?), then why do you need to trademark "iPad whatever"?
The iPad is trademarked. Apple just purchased it from another company.
Peace is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:38 AM   #23
ArtOfWarfare
macrumors 603
 
ArtOfWarfare's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Send a message via Skype™ to ArtOfWarfare
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenesisST View Post
I havent' read the article, but I am wondering: If iPad is trademarked (is it?), then why do you need to trademark "iPad whatever"?
I have, and I'm wondering the same thing. Apple doesn't bother trademarking individual sizes for their computer lines. They don't have trademarks for "iMac 27" " and "MacBook Pro 15 " - so why bother with trademarking different sizes of the iPad?
ArtOfWarfare is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:40 AM   #24
Dwalls90
macrumors 68040
 
Dwalls90's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Is iPod Mini or Nano trademarked ... ? Lol
__________________
rMBP 4850HQ & iPhone 6
Dwalls90 is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Apr 1, 2013, 09:40 AM   #25
kas23
macrumors 603
 
kas23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
I disagree with the examiner's assertion that "i" stands for Internet. The original classic iPod, for example, did not have Internet capability. I'm pretty sure the "i" is just a cute marketing tool in order for Apple to distinguish its products from competitors.

As for "pad", I've never heard of a "pad computer". I thought it referred to a pad of paper or a note pad.
kas23 is offline   4 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > News and Article Discussion > MacRumors.com News Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
U.S. Patent Office Withdraws Primary Objections to Apple's 'iPad Mini' Trademark Application MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 64 Apr 9, 2013 12:45 PM
US Patent Office Denies iPad Mini Trademark 725032 Apple, Industry and Internet Discussion 1 Mar 31, 2013 03:00 AM
All iPads: If the iPad 5 has the same resolution (PPI) as iPad Mini Retina, which will you buy? seasurfer iPad 17 Jan 14, 2013 01:33 PM
High Resolution and 3D Interactive Mockup of Apple's Rumored 'iPad Mini', and Possible Physical Models and Parts MacRumors MacRumors.com News Discussion 146 Oct 18, 2012 12:05 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:51 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC