Hold the center!
John Thomas at the Pittsburgh IP Law Blog picks up on an interesting phenomenon concerning center-centric trademark registration applications:
If the mark you are trying to register contains the word “CENTER” be prepared for a descriptiveness rejection and a disclaimer requirement if the description of goods contains merchandise. . . . The basis for the descriptiveness rejection is that “the wording CENTER is defined as ‘a store or establishment devoted to a particular subject or hobby, carrying supplies, materials, tools, and books as well as offering guidance and advice.’”
He points out that, of course, the trademark registry is full of registrations that do contain “center,” but, of course, why would something as pedestrian as precedent matter in a legal regime?
Or even in the PTO?