I reviewed the TTAB’s FOIA page in an attempt to determine, or at least estimate, the percentage of Section 2(d) likelihood-of-confusion refusals and Section 2(e)(1) mere descriptiveness refusals, that were affirmed/reversed by the Board during the calendar year 2016. The highly unscientific results are set out below.
Section 2(d): I counted 249 Section 2(d) refusals, of which 228 were affirmed and 21 reversed. That’s an affirmance rate of about 91.5%. [A high water mark for the last few years].
NB: Some cases involved an applied-for mark in standard character and stylized or design form, and I counted that situation as one refusal.
Section 2(e)(1) mere descriptiveness: Of the 91 Section 2(e)(1) mere descriptiveness refusals, 82 were affirmed and 9 reversed, for an affirmance rate of approximately 90%, again on the upper end of the spectrum for recent years.