updated 10:02 am EDT, Mon April 8, 2013
Agency pulls objections without requiring new specimens
The US Patent and Trademark Office has withdrawn the main objections to Apple's trademark application for the iPad mini, reports say. The examiner initially rejected the application because the name was seen as descriptive, and due to the official iPad mini page, used as evidence that the product is on sale. The USPTO actually pulled the objection last Wednesday, but has only just made the news public.
Notably the move was made without Apple having to submit any new evidence, or apparently take any other actions. The USPTO does caution that it has several other concerns, such as pending applications from other electronics companies that have products with the name "mini" in them. At the moment Apple isn't obligated to take any more steps if it wants approval, although the USPTO continues to suggest that Apple add a disclaimer saying it only wants to protect "iPad mini" as a whole term. That would prevent any conflicts with non-Apple "mini" trademarks.
The withdrawal may have been made due to media coverage. Many websites highlighted the rejection the day it became public.