Justices Hold Booking.com Can Trademark Its Name
WASHINGTON — A nearly unanimous Supreme Court said Tuesday that the travel website Booking.com can trademark its name, a ruling of high significance to other companies using a generic word followed by “.com.” as a name.
Lower courts had sided with Booking.com, but the Trump administration appealed the case to the high court last year.
Writing for the majority in the 8-1 ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said simply, “We have no cause to deny Booking.com the same benefits Congress accorded other marks qualifying as non-generic.”
In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer, said he believes the majority’s opinion is inconsistent with trademark principles and sound trademark policy.
“Trademark law does not protect generic terms, meaning terms that do no more than name the product or service itself,” he wrote. “This principle preserves the linguistic commons by preventing one producer from appropriating to its own exclusive use a term needed by others to describe their goods or services.”
A number of other businesses had been closely following the case, including Cars.com, Dictionary.com and Wine.com, all of whom feared a decision going the other way would stymie their desires to trademark their names.
The case, United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V., also made a little history along the way. It was the first of 10 cases argued by telephone in May because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was also the first time audio of arguments was available live.
In The News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week but remained high by historical standards. Applications for benefits declined 111,000 from the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 730,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It is the lowest figure since late... Read More
Retailers and restaurants are taking control of their future by adapting to evolving consumer behaviors via technology use and operating efficiencies says a new study released from Square Inc. Square’s “Future of Retail” and “Future of Restaurants” reports provide a glimpse into what investments businesses are... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is preparing to sign an executive order to review U.S. supply chains for large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals, critical minerals and semiconductors that power cars, phones, military equipment and other goods. The United States has become increasingly reliant on imports of these... Read More
Four panelists warned today that proposed legislative reforms for more aggressive antitrust enforcement in Big Tech would likely spill over across all industries, hindering innovation and harming consumers. Strengthening the antitrust laws - federal and state statutes that restrict the formation of monopolies and prohibit dominant... Read More
NEW YORK - New York City movie theaters will be allowed to reopen, at limited capacity, starting on March 5, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. The governor broke the news during his daily press briefing with reporters. He said theaters in the city will be permitted... Read More
President Joe Biden is extending federal pandemic assistance to the smallest of the nation's small businesses and taking steps to ensure funds reach minority and woman-owned businesses. The steps announced Monday morning are intended to bring more equity to the Paycheck Protection Program, one of the... Read More