The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had originally refused Apple the trademark on the basis that the term ‘Mini’ was simply descriptive, but this objection has now been withdrawn on condition that the company add a disclaimer.
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.
The disclaimer requirement may be an attempt to bring some sanity back to trademark wars: when Apple already holds the trademark to iPad, it’s unclear what benefit there is in trademarking ‘iPad Mini’ specifically. Apple has been left in a worse position than if it hadn’t applied for the trademark in the first place, and it’s possible this was entirely intentional: the USPTO punishing what it sees as a pointless application.