In a surprising decision, DigitalNewsDaily reports that a federal trial judge has ruled that online hotel reservation service Booking.com is entitled to trademark protection for its name.
The decision, issued last week by U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, appears to contradict at least two other opinions issued by a federal appellate court, which ruled that generic terms followed by “.com” are not eligible for trademarks.
The ruling is at odds with two decisions by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the federal circuit. That court said in 2009 that “Hotels.com” and “Mattress.com” can’t be trademarked because the words “hotels” and “mattress” are generic.
Brinkema’s decision “seems to go out of its way to create a right that we thought didn’t exist,” says Internet law expert Eric Goldman at Santa Clara University. “This opinion opens up the door for all of those ‘noun-dot-com’ tradenames to be potentially registerable,” he says.
It will be quite interesting to see what .com trademarks are filed (or appealed) next; stay tuned!
To your domaining success,