Booking.com is your one-stop shop, and among the most popular websites, for booking travel plans. One can book flights, hotel reservations, car rentals, and even travel attractions all on one website. But should the trademark ‘Booking.com’ be eligible for federal trademark protection? Should any trademark with the form ‘generic.com’ be eligible for federal trademark protection? This was the main issue in the June 2020 Supreme Court decision, United States Patent and Trademark Office v Booking.com BV, to which Justice Ginsburg and the majority held that ‘Booking.com’ is eligible for federal registration on the principal register. That decision, as Justice Breyer argues in his dissenting opinion, was incorrectly decided. This article will explore how trademark law disfavors awarding federal protection to ‘Booking.com’, and more generally, ‘generic.com’ marks. Booking.com opens the door to a future anticompetitive economy where one business with a registered ‘generic.com’ trademark will envelop the market for which it targets.
Paige Miller, Trademark Law After USPTO v Booking.com: ‘Generic.com’ Takeover, 20 UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law 182 (2021).