Marina Rothberg, ‘The Customer Is Always Right: Trademark Law and Generic Website Names in US Patent and Trademark Office v Booking.com BV

ABSTRACT
In 2020, in US Patent and Trademark Office v Booking.com BV, the Supreme Court clarified that the owner of a website with a descriptive domain name could trademark the name, even if it were styled ‘generic.com’, as long as it had acquired secondary meaning to consumers. Justice Breyer, in his dissent, vigorously argued that this ruling would limit competition. He claimed that allowing Booking.com to trademark its brand name, which contains terms that competitors use to describe similar business activities, would essentially be giving it a monopoly. This Comment supports the majority’s decision, as it conforms with the Lanham Act. Further, this Comment maintains that existing protections mitigate Justice Breyer’s monopolization concerns and argues that the Patent and Trademark Office should instill a strict evidentiary requirement for consumer perception.

Marina F Rothberg, The Customer Is Always Right: Trademark Law and Generic Website Names in US Patent and Trademark Office v Booking.com BV, 62 Boston College Law Review Electronic Supplement II – 303.

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