LitigationPatentTrademark

The Consumer is King: High Court Sides with Booking.com, Rejecting Per Se Test for Generic.Com Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with Booking.com, ruling that a generic term paired with .com “is a generic name for a class of goods or services only if the term has that meaning to consumers.” The opinion was delivered by Justice Ginsburg and joined by eight members of the Court, with Justice Breyer dissenting and Justice Sotomayor filing a separate concurring opinion. In the Booking.com case, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was urging the High Court to reverse a judgment of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that held BOOKING.COM to be a registrable trademark. But the Supreme Court ultimately found that the genericness analysis should turn on consumer perception, rather than a “per se rule” against trademark protection for a generic.com term.

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