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Does a .com Suffix Make a Trademark?

The United States Supreme Court will rule on whether the addition of the suffix .com to an already generic trademark is enough to allow the mark to be trademarked.  The case involves the mark "".  As a starting point, it is important to note that generic marks cannot be the subject of a trademark registration.  Booking Holdings Inc. filed an application for the mark "".  The trademark Office asserted that the term "Booking" is generic and the addition of the ".com" suffix was also generic and therefore the combined terms did not result in a registerable mark.   


The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that could be registered as a trademark.  The company argued that if it was not allowed to register its name then others could use the mark to promote their own services and steer its customers to competitors' sites.  Booking Holding Inc. appealed the case to the Supreme Court.  The arguments presented to the Court for rejecting the registration were that even through ".com" is now associated with a website, the reason that the ".com" was added to the internet in the first place was to carve out an indication of "commercial" activity.  As the justices consider the arguments, we will wait to hear the final decision within the next few months.

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