SCOTUS Hearing: Booking.com

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Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments via teleconference for the first time in its history. On the docket before SCOTUS is the Booking.com trademark, where Booking.com seeks trademark protection for its brand, which is comprised of a generic term and the .com domain name extension. The case has been followed closely by many people in the domain name business, but particularly industry attorneys:

There are quite a few news articles discussing the case, the arguments in front of SCOTUS, and the case background, which are worth reading:

SCOTUS Blog offers a particularly extensive background about the Booking.com case and background involving the case in front of SCOTUS. In addition, the blog post has links to many filings associated with the case, including the amicus brief filed by the Internet Commerce Association (ICA).

Nat Cohen highlighted a particularly interesting aspect of the discussing involving the “first mover advantages of using a generic [domain] name.”

This case is of interest to investors because of the ramifications of allowing Booking.com to trademark its brand. Other companies operating on generic domain names could add more trademark protections for their own brands following in the footsteps of Booking.com. This could potentially add value to generic .com domain names because they could later become brands that are more protected. There could also be repercussions for the generic terms in other extensions or similar terms that are generic in nature but potentially considered confusing.

It’s interesting to watch and hear Supreme Court justices speak about domain names, and this case will be worth following to its conclusion.

13 COMMENTS

      • Because more people and businesses will think they are entitled to take our domains away from us.
        We are already being ganged up on, this will make it worse.

      • What constrains you from agreeing with Mark here, Elliot. Is it not as obvious as a two dollar bill?

        And not just “domain investors,” but domain users in general, i.e. end users.

        • Why can’t I ask someone to provide their rationale for sharing something?

          When I share an opinion in a blog article, I generally offer insight about why I believe something.

          • Okay, Socrates, nobody’s saying you can’t, but personally I would prefer ready agreement on this one. If it doesn’t come later, however, then there’ s a problem in my view. I.e. with you.

          • Maybe I don’t agree with that assessment.

            I haven’t shared my opinion on the topic.

            I think it’s wise to hear/read different viewpoints before coming to a judgment.

          • Well Proverbs 18:13 in the Bible is certainly true and words to live by.

            However, in your case there may and very possibly is more going on that you are not completely conscious of, and I may be able to help you. You may also have seen how I have mentioned the topic a small number of times in comments over the years if you haven’t missed the times I have.

            So in your case, Elliot, here is what may and very possibly is going on with you personally:

            When you see a case like this, a certain amount of cognitive dissonance arises in you which you may not even be fully aware of if at all. This is because you have a propensity to live as a “friend” of “the establishment.” To a significant degree, you are their guy, their man, their “company man,” and they know it, and you signal it to them and make them know it. And as is generally the case with that, you are also rewarded for it.

            So when a case like this arises it makes internal war against that propensity of yours, and the dissonance occurs.

            Everyone is a mixed bag and flawed in some way, all of us, so this doesn’t mean I’m suggesting you are all bad by any means whatsoever, and I have already also pointed out before that you most certainly have numerous good qualities at the same time too. Like I said – mixed bad: all of us, including me of course.

            And this concludes your privilege of being psychoanalyzed by an anonymous Internet troll for today Elliot. You can now of course say that it’s full of beans or something like that. Keep in mind this is all for the sake of the cause and the benefit of us all, including you. All in benevolent “love.” 😉

  1. Having owned a Dot Com Trade Mark 1998 “GamblersHotline.com” for 10 years – I don’t think this will make a lot of difference one way or another – However I don’t think it a generic word with a .com will be successful –

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