USPTO Withdrew Prior Rejection
The trademark office previously rejected Apple’s trademark application for ‘iPad Mini’ for being merely descriptive. The examiner defined iPad as merely descriptive because the examiner stated that ‘i’ in ‘iPad’ represents ‘internet’ and ‘Pad’ represents a tablet. Furthermore, ‘Mini’ is simply refers to the products size. Therefore, the entire mark is merely descriptive and not worthy of trademark protection.
The USPTO withdrew the prior rejection:
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the examining attorney has determined that the following refusals issued in the initial Office action should be withdrawn.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The Trademark Act Section 2(e)(1) descriptiveness refusal and the Sections 1 and 45 specimen refusal are both withdrawn.
It is not surprising that the rejection was withdrawn. The USPTO had already granted Apple a trademark on ‘iPad’. In addition, most consumers would assume that the ‘i’ stands for ‘me’ or ‘individual’ as opposed to ‘internet’. This point can be concluded from the fact that the ‘i’ naming convention began with the release of the ‘iPod’ in 2001, a music device that did not have any type of internet connectivity. Finally, it would not be a tough argument to convince the trademark office and consumers that ‘iPad’ has developed secondary meaning.
For an office that is often in no particular hurry, this is the fastest response I have ever seen. This must be the result of the sheer number of article written about the trademark application rejection.