Apple's 'iPad Mini' Trademark Application Initially Denied, but Resolution Should Be Simple

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. MacRumors
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    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.
    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.
    [​IMG]
    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
     
  2. truettray
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 6502

    truettray

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2012
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    I was afraid something like this would happen. I have to agree with the examiner on this one. ;)
     
  3. Peace
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors P6

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    #3
    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 ?


    :confused:
     
  4. SJism23
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    The patent examiner's explanations for the "i," "Pad," and "mini" trademarks are hilarious!
     
  5. bushido
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 604

    bushido

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    Germany
    #5
    i have no idea what i just read :D

    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
     
  6. Hakone
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    I thought pad meant something totally different...
     
  7. kayloh20
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    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.
     
  8. bretm
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    #8
    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.
     
  9. Menel
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 603

    Menel

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    ATL
    #9
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. charlituna
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #10
    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.
     
  11. jaymzuk
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    #11
    In all fairness, the law of averages would suggest that a good proportion are idiots
     
  12. cameronjpu
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    #12
    According to whom, exactly?

    Anyway, this certainly makes one feel good about the paychecks that our government bureaucrats are drawing every couple weeks.
     
  13. KieranDotW
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    "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!)
     
  14. ekdor, Apr 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2013

    ekdor
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #14
    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.
     
  15. Popeye206
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 68040

    Popeye206

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    NE PA USA
  16. DarkWinter
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    #16
    ...

    "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... :rolleyes:
     
  17. mattopotamus
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #17
    I mean you are on the ipad mini page...what else would you be buying?
     
  18. GeekGuys
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
  19. iGrip
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 68000

    iGrip

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #19
    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.
     
  20. topmounter
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 68020

    topmounter

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    FEMA Region VIII
    #20
    Wow, Great, Awesome, another innovative new trademark from Apple.
     
  21. GenesisST
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 68000

    GenesisST

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    Where I live
    #21
    I havent' read the article, but I am wondering: If iPad is trademarked (is it?), then why do you need to trademark "iPad whatever"?
     
  22. Peace
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors P6

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    #22
    The iPad is trademarked. Apple just purchased it from another company.
     
  23. ArtOfWarfare
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #23
    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?
     
  24. Dwalls90
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 68040

    Dwalls90

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
  25. kas23
    Expand Collapse
    macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #25
    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.
     

Share This Page