Supreme Court to Decide Whether ‘Booking.com’ Too Generic for Trademark Protection

November 8, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a case in which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office contends that Booking.com’s name is too generic for trademark protection.

As is their custom, the justices did not explain their rationale for adding the case, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, to their docket.

Booking.com, the well-known website that allows customers to book travel and hotel accommodations, attempted to register its name as a trademark four times in 2011 and 2012.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused to register the trademark, citing the Lanham Act’s ban on registration for generic terms.

After the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Booking.com is a protectable trademark, the federal government petitioned the Supreme Court to take a look at the case.

The justices agreed to decide whether an online business’s addition of “.com” to an otherwise generic term can create a protectable trademark. 

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