A number of companies back Booking.com in ongoing trademark case

March 2, 2020
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In its continued court case with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office, Booking.com has called for help from companies like Home Depot and Salesforce, both of which argue that the travel booking giant is entitled to trademark protection.

The battle hinges on whether the Booking.com can obtain a trademark for a generic word “booking” followed by “.com.”

The U.S. Patent and Trade Office refused to grant the company a trademark, arguing that generic terms followed by “.com” aren't trademarkable. Booking.com sued over the decision, arguing that it is entitled to a trademark because consumers recognize its name as a brand.

A trial judge and appellate court sided with Booking.com. The Patent and Trade Office is now appealing those rulings to the Supreme Court.

Among other arguments, the agency says that awarding a trademark to a generic word plus “.com” would harm competition by allowing companies “to monopolize language.”

Booking.com countered in papers filed earlier this month that it needs a trademark to prevent other companies from duping consumers by using its name. For instance, the company argued, a trademark can prevent a brick-and-mortar company from opening a storefront Booking.com travel agency.

Salesforce, Home Depot and BA Sports Nutrition (partially owned by Coca-Cola), weighed in with Booking.com in a friend-of-the-court brief.

Read more here

March 2, 2020

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