How to describe a Catch 22
Michael Hall considers the PTO’s “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” policy, by which it uses trademark registrations as evidence to refuse new applications on the basis of “descriptiveness”:
[T]he Office routinely relies upon them in issuing merely-descriptive refusals, yet when an applicant introduces third-party registrations to support its position, the Office will often dismiss them with a form paragraph stating that third-party registrations are “without evidentiary value.”
It’s good to be the king! Michael says this policy may be inching toward improvement, but, really, this whole concept that the PTO is exempt from any accountability for its prior determinations — now that’s what needs examination.