Recently in a landmark decision, United States PTO v. Booking.com B.V. the U.S. Supreme Court clarified certain trademark rights for “.com.” There, the High Court ruled 8-1 that Booking.com, a popular online travel reservation agency, could register its company name – BOOKING.COM – as a trademark. In doing so, the Supreme Court struck down the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) “per se” rule, which rendered nearly all combinations of a generic name and a domain name extension, such as “.com,” as generic and ineligible for trademark registration. The decision was a victory for Booking.com, given that the USPTO had previously rejected the company’s four trademark applications, finding the marks to be generic. This ruling provides more opportunity to protect brands and marks through trademark protection for companies that have generic term combinations.
Read more about this judgement in our client alert.