The Supreme Court decided in favor of Booking.Com that adding .COM that is associated with a web domain name can be trademarked.
The decision was 8 – 1 on the high court that by adding .COM to a generic word can make the entire combination eligible for trademark protection.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the majority opinion, “We have no cause to deny Booking.com the same benefits Congress accorded other marks qualifying as nongeneric”. Justice Stephen Bryer was in dissent.
The case came to the Supreme Court because Booking.Com was denied trademark protection when they registered the name at the US Patent and Trademark office. Attornies for Booking.Com argued that protection was needed by saying “to prevent competitors from opening storefront Booking.com travel agencies, or from diluting its brand by selling Booking.com-themed travel products in airport shops”.
WILL THIS OPEN THE FLOODGATES?
This decision could open the door for other businesses to follow suit. I can see the stampede heading to the US Patent and Trademark office.