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Intellectual Property Litigation Trademarks United States Supreme Court

Testing for Genericness After USPTO v. Booking.com

In the recent U.S. Supreme Court case of USPTO v. Booking.com, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the term Booking.com is not necessarily generic merely because it is composed of two components, each itself generic. In so deciding, Justice Ginsburg averred that there is an appropriate metric to determine if such a term is indeed generic, that of consumer perception.

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In the recent U.S. Supreme Court case of USPTO v. Booking.com, No. 19-46 (June 30, 2020), the Court held that the term Booking.com is not necessarily generic merely because it is composed of two components, each itself generic. In so deciding, Justice Ginsburg averred that there is an appropriate metric to determine if such a term is indeed generic, that of consumer perception. The Court cited the Lanham Act’s provision on cancellation that states: the “primary significance of the registered mark to the relevant public … shall be the test for determining whether the registered mark has become the generic name of goods or services.”

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