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 — Should a federal law that protects National Guard members and reservists from being fired from their private sector jobs while they are deployed also apply to state government jobs? Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court hinted it might weigh in on the issue. The U.S. Supreme Court last Tuesday requested... Read More
Moderna Inc. requested clearance for its coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. after a new analysis showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing COVID-19, with no serious safety problems. A Moderna spokesman said in a text message late Monday afternoon that its application for an emergency use authorization for its COVID-19... Read More
WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced his senior economic team, confirming after a week of speculation, that he would nominate Janet Yellen, the former Federal Reserve chair, to be the first woman to head the Treasury Department, In a statement, Biden said he... Read More
NEW YORK (AP) — After months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy, Black Friday is offering a small beacon of hope. In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of shoppers eager to get started on their... Read More
Turkey prices are sinking as the pandemic may keep some American families from hosting big groups this Thanksgiving. The price of ingredients in a traditional turkey dinner for 10 people is down to the lowest level in a decade, driven largely by grocers discounting the meal's centerpiece to... Read More
As health officials warn of the risks of Thanksgiving travel, more than half of Americans still plan to venture away from home, according to a new survey. The website Tripadvisor says 56% of people intend to take trips for the holiday this year, despite the coronavirus pandemic, a... Read More