Earlier this year, Apple received a non-final Office action letter from the USPTO regarding its trademark application for the iPad mini mark. A non-final Office action is the first notice sent to an applicant about a problem with its trademark application. Following the notice, the applicant has six months to amend its application to meet the USPTO's requirements.
In the case with the iPad mini, Apple's application was cited because the iPad mini name was merely descriptive and not a unique, non-descriptive term for the product. The USPTO's examining attorney Lee-Anne Berns writes in a letter to Apple that "the mark is merely descriptive of a feature or characteristic of the goods and registration is refused under Section 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act." Apple can amend its application "to add a claim of acquired distinctiveness" and try again to trademark the iPad mini name.