Companies using otherwise generic terms for their websites are eligible for trademark protection if the domain is distinct to the general public, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down a broad federal rule that blocked Booking.com from registering its mark.
While the term “booking” on its own, like countless other one-word phrases, is generic and ineligible for trademark protection, Booking.com has taken on a secondary meaning with the public, wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the majority. The justices noted that upholding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s application of the rule would strike down trademarks it already granted to Dating.com and Art.com.
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