Here are your Apple rumors and AAPL news items for today:
Early Buyers: On Friday, Deutsche Telekom‘s (PINK:DTEGY) T-Mobile began accepting early orders for Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5, 9to5Mac notes. T-Mobile announced last month that it would finally start selling the iPhone, ending years as the only major U.S. network not to officially carry the iPhone. Despite that, about 2 million iPhones are said to be already operating on T-Mobile’s network. As part of its “Uncarrier” plans, T-Mobile is offering the 16GB iPhone 5 for $99 with 20 months of $20 payments to make up the phone’s actual cost. T-Mobile is merging with MetroPCS (NYSE:PCS) expanding its subscriber base from 33 million to 42 million. The iPhone 5 officially arrives on T-Mobile on April 12.
Backstep: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is backing off earlier objections to trademarking of the iPad Mini name, MacRumors notes. In a previous assessment of the trademark application, the patent office noted that the term “mini” was merely descriptive and thus failed to qualify for trademark protection. In a new filing, that objection has been withdrawn by the examining attorney that filed the assessment. The withdrawal does not mean that the iPad Mini trademark will ultimately be approved by the patent office. A number of products from other companies are looking to trademark names that include the word “mini.” The patent office lawyer indicated that Apple would have to declare that it wasn’t seeking exclusive rights to the name “mini” outside of its use in “iPad Mini.”
Ruling: The International Trade Commission (ITC) has found that Samsung violated an Apple patent relating to text-selection, Reuters notes. The preliminary decision also found that the South Korean electronics giant did not infringe on a second Apple patent that permits a mobile device to detect other devices connected through its microphone jack. The decision, which affects Samsung smartphones and tablets sold in the U.S., will be reviewed by the full ITC. A final decision will be handed down in August. If the full ITC panel upholds the decision, the sale of the affected devices — which include models in Samsung’s Nexus, Galaxy and Tranform product lines — could be banned in the U.S.
For more about the company, check out our previous Apple Rumors stories.