Supreme Court Will Hear Arguments on Booking.com Trademark
By Harvey Chipkin
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over whether Booking.com, the online hotel reservation service, is entitled to trademark protection for its name. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the company’s request for a trademark in 2016, saying the name was too generic to be granted trademark protection. Booking.com challenged that decision in court and has won cases in the U.S. District Court in Virginia and the Court of Appeals. However, the government agency is arguing that these rulings went against prior decisions that held that generic terms can’t be trademarked even with “dot-com” after their names. Booking.com contends that there was overwhelming evidence that consumers view their brand as a company name. The booking service specifically referenced a survey that it says indicates nearly 75% of consumers recognize Booking.com as a brand, and not a generic service.