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.
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