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‘Dot-Com’ Dispute to Lead Pack of U.S. Trademark Appeals in 2020

Jan. 2, 2020, 11:31 AM

One of this year’s top trademark cases may yield specifics about what generic means when the U.S. Supreme Court decides if a company can register a generic or descriptive word with dot.com added as a trademark.

The Patent and Trademark Office is fighting a decision that said Booking.com has a distinctive name that identifies a source for consumers, which generally allows marks to qualify for registration even if they merely describe a product. The government said the word “booking” is generic—meaning synonymous with an entire class of products—and adding .com can’t overcome that.

USPTO v. Booking.com B.V. is the most ...