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SCOTUS Ruling Opens the Gate to Registration of Booking.com and Other Generic.com Domain Names

Posted on Jul 1, 2020 in News

If you are fortunate enough to own a domain name that is generic for your goods or services, a June 30, 2020 ruling from the Supreme Court has made it easier for you to register your domain name as a trademark or service mark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  In the case of United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Booking.com, B.V., the Court rejected the USPTO’s “unyielding legal rule” against the registration of “generic.com” marks as “entirely disregard[ing] consumer perception.”  The USPTO will be required to alter its examination procedures to consider evidence from applicants regarding how consumers perceive the meaning of “generic.com” marks (and other composite marks combining a generic term and a domain extension).  The Court affirmed the rulings from the lower courts which found that Booking.com was not generic because consumers perceive the composite mark as designating the domain owner as the source of the services.

by David M. Tener

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