Booking platform Booking.com is allowed to register the brand name as a trademark, according to the US Supreme Court. In an earlier ruling from the US Patent and Trademark Office it was stated that the name Booking.com was too general to receive the protection of a trademark. The U.S. Supreme Court however ruled that booking.com is not a generic name, now that the name is well known to consumers.
According to the US federal legislation, a trademark is only given when a product can be distinguished from other products that are sold on the same market. General terms that refer to the product as a whole do not receive protection for a trademark. For example, a manufacturer of cars who names his product ‘car’ will likely not receive a trademark for this product. In the case of booking.com, the name is so well known to consumers that it can no longer be said to be too generic and not protected by a trademark, so ruled the US Supreme Court.
Do you have any question about this ruling, or about trademark law in specific? Feel free to contact Milan Gaber.