Big Law

Supreme Court Sides With Booking.com in Trademark Fight

“A generic name – the name of a class of products or services – is ineligible for federal trademark registration,” the Supreme Court held on Tuesday in its decision in the closely-watched booking.com case. However, while the nation’s highest court determined that such generic marks may not be registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), adding a Generic top-level domain, such as “.com” to such a generic term is capable of changing the outcome, which is why “‘Booking.com’ – unlike the term ‘booking’ standing alone – is not generic” in the eyes of the court.

In its decision, which was authored by Justice Ginsburg, the court held that “a term styled ‘generic.com’ is a generic name for a class of goods or services only if the term has that meaning to consumers.” In other words, a term is not generic and can be eligible for federal trademark registration if it is capable of distinguishing the goods/services of one company from those of others – in furtherance of the goal of trademark law, which is to “protect the public so it may be confident that, in purchasing a product bearing a particular trade-mark which it favorably knows, it will get the product which it asks for and wants to get.” 

The case at hand – which got its start more than five years ago when Booking.com filed a trademark application for registration for its name, including the “.com,” for use in connection with online hotel-reservation services – ended up before the Supreme Court after the USPTO and lower courts determined that “booking.com” was simply a generic term to refer to the company’s business.

Read the source article at The Fashion Law

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