Last Sunday, we discovered that the United States Patent and Trademark Office denied Apple its request for an iPad mini trademark. The main reason for doing so was because the examiner believed the term "mini" to be "merely descriptive" of Apple's iPad, and did not warrant a trademark. In order for Apple to receive its trademark, we believed that it would have had to appeal the decision with some necessary amendments, but now it seems like it didn't need to do much at all.
Now a newly, updated Office action has been discovered by MacRumors that shows that the USPTO has decided to rescind its earlier objections. The two original objections that the examiner had an issue with have seemed to be resolved. They were the "merely descriptive" aspect of the "mini" trademark as well as Apple using the iPad mini's product webpage as the image in its proposal. The new office action states:
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the examining attorney has determined that the following refusals issued in the initial Office action should be withdrawn.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.
The Trademark Act Section 2(e)(1) descriptiveness refusal and the Sections 1 and 45 specimen refusal are both withdrawn.
However, this doesn't mean that Apple is guaranteed its iPad mini trademark. The USPTO states that it still needs to double-check to see if any other companies have filed for the "mini" trademark with their own products. It also wants Apple to amend its application to include a disclaimer that states that the "mini" trademark can only be applied when used in conjunction with the "iPad mini".
The disclaimer is to protect any companies who want to use the "mini" for their future products. An example being Samsung and its Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, or its rumored Samsung GALAXY S 4 Mini. We'll keep you posted if there are any new updates to this trademark issue. Until then, be sure to check out our review of Apple's iPad mini, as well as our timeline below for more Apple related news.