4th Circ. Says Booking.com's TM Win Comes With USPTO Bill

By Tiffany Hu (February 4, 2019, 6:57 PM EST) -- A split Fourth Circuit on Monday affirmed a lower court's decision ordering Booking.com to pay $76,000 in attorneys' fees to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office even after the travel site successfully challenged it in a suit over the protectability of its mark. 

In a 46-page published opinion, the panel majority rejected the USPTO's contention that combining ".com" with a generic "second-level domain," such as "booking," would always create a generic trademark.

Because the public would likely understand "booking.com" as a whole to mean the travel site, rather than a generic online hotel reservation service, such a mark was descriptive and...

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