Supreme Court Adapts Trademark Law for the Digital Age

Everyday word plus a web domain can create a distinctive brand, court says

U.S. Supreme Court
Although NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA specifically addresses arbitration agreements, the case’s eventual outcome could also have implications for disputes over employment classification in various industries. / Joe Ravi
A case about the ability of a company to trademark of a generic-sounding web domain is not, by most measures, considered the most high-profile case the U.S. Supreme Court took this session. But a decision issued Tuesday is consequential to trademark law in the age of the internet and may have protected a host of existing trademarks from cancellation. In front of the court was whether adding a top-level domain such as “.com” can make an otherwise generic term eligible for protection. The travel website Booking.com had appealed a denial of its trademark by the Patent and Trademark Office in

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