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

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.

    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 Presumably responding to the publicity surrounding the initial decision, the USPTO has preemptively withdrawn its two main objections to Apple's objections.
    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.

    Article Link: U.S. Patent Office Withdraws Primary Objections to Apple's 'iPad Mini' Trademark Application
  2. macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2007
    Darn, well I guess this means I can't name my next child "iPad Mini" after all. Had my hopes up.
  3. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    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?.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 19, 2011
  5. macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2009
    Premià de Mar
    Ah, those objections were real and not an April's Fools prank?
  6. macrumors G5


    Nov 25, 2005
    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".
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    The sin objection is they don't wan Apple claiming "mini" was trademarked. Right now Apple clearly marks things "iPad mini" but we know how Apple loves to change its mind and start revoking names that accessory makers use to bend its trademark standing.

    So when Samsung comes out with the Galaxy Tab mini.... (Smaller than the Tab but bigger than the Note) the PTO wants to lay down precedent they WEREN'T granting Apple exclusive use if "mini".
  8. macrumors 65816


    Feb 27, 2006
    As someone who has had several trademark applications initially denied, and later approved, this comes as no surprise. The USPTO works in mysterious ways.
  9. macrumors G4

    Oct 23, 2010
    It comes across as arbitrary, which is not how a government agency should act.
  10. macrumors 65816

    Jan 15, 2009
    USTPO's check arrived in the post. Alright lads, clear it.
  11. macrumors 65816


    Mar 24, 2004
    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:
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2010
    Doesn't Apple already have a trademark for "iPad"? If so, why would they not be granted a trademark for the full term "iPad Mini" but more importantly, why would they need it? Shouldn't the trademark for "iPad" already cover every conceivable derivative term that includes "iPad"?
    Apple didn't try to trademark the term "mini", did they?
  13. macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    PRSI is that-a-way.

  14. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
    i dont get it either. did they trademark the "pro" of the macbook pro too? its not like someone could use the term macbook or iPad in that case in the first place so why bother with the mini combo.
  15. KohPhiPhi, Apr 8, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2011
    As of lately, it seems like Apple hits the headlines more because of legal/patent issues than because of their products :(
  16. macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2012
    So maybe Apple should be playing loyalties to British Motor Corporation / British Leyland / Rover / BMW after all, they invented the word Mini with the Morris Mini-Minor back in 1959...
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2008
    I believe one of main issues here was that the trade mark was too wide and didn't specify that trademark registration only applied to "iPad Mini" and not to "Mini". Therefore, Apple needs to add disclaimer in their application so that only iPad Mini is registered and not just "Mini" without "iPad". IMHO, if Apple could get away with original registration they would probably be suing Samsung for every single "Mini" product they have released. Therefore, the additional disclaimer is truly needed since descriptive general term like "Mini" can't be registered. If it could then the trademark should be given to Morris Mini.
  18. macrumors member

    Laucian Nailor

    Oct 24, 2012
  19. macrumors 68030


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    Hasn't Samsung already come up with million sizes? :p
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Since this is about commercial trademarks, were you intending to sell your child?
  21. macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
    I still don't get the need to trademark "iPad mini" when you already have iPad... If I were to call something "iPad whatever", wouldn't I be infringing on the iPad trademark anyways?
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2008
    Sure but it seems Apple wanted to have very wide trademark and wanted to also "protect" Mini without term "iPad" front of it. Hence, Apple needs to add disclaimer clarifying that this trademark doesn't include "Mini" without word iPad.
  23. macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    What? No one is going to accuse Apple of slipping the USPO an envelope of cash "to forget this whole thing" ? ;)
  24. JAQ
    macrumors 6502

    May 13, 2008
    Purgatory MI
    Been watching Fox News ("lies for the gullible") again?
  25. macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2013
    Doesn't Apple hold the trademark on iPad?
    So trying to trademake iPad Mini would be useless.
    iPad being the trademark, mini being the model.

    Edit: *damn, someone already pointed that out*

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