The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have dismissed an earlier ruling on the validity of a trademark on the term "iPad Mini", opening the door for Apple to receive a trademark on the name.
Officials had previously stated that the term "iPad Mini" could not be trademarked because the word "mini" is a general term. The USPTO has now updated that ruling claiming the word has never been registered and is open for trademark.
"Upon further review of the application, the examining attorney has determined that the following refusals issued in the initial Office action should be withdrawn," wrote the USPTO in a letter to Apple.
"The examining attorney apologises for any inconvenience caused."
Earlier this month, the USPTO ruled that Apple could not trademark the term "mini" because it was part of the common lexicon prior to the iPad. Officials reported that Apple already owned the word "iPad" and wouldn't be able to trademark a descriptive term like "mini".
However, that ruling has now been overturned. According to the USPTO's current examining attorney, the term "mini" is open to be trademarked. The official reports that the term can be trademarked because no other company has previously attempted to own the word.
"The trademark examining attorney has searched the Office's database of registered and pending marks and has found no similar registered mark that would bar registration under," continued the USPTO.
While the updated ruling opens the door for an Apple trademark, some hurdles still exist. The examining attorney in the case states that if a prior claim for trademark is uncovered Apple would be unable to brand the word.
Apple would also be required to put a disclaimer on the term "mini" if the trademark goes through. The USPTO said that a disclaimer would be necessary because Apple should not be allowed to have exclusive rights to the term.
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