February 08, 2021 Feature

Trademark Law’s Monopoly Problem: The Supreme Court on Generic Terms as Trademarks

Christine Haight Farley

©2021. Published in Landslide, Vol. 13, No. 3, January/February 2021, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the final trademark case of the 2019–20 term in U.S. Patent & Trademark Office v. Booking.com B.V.1 on June 30, 2020. In an 8–1 decision authored by Justice Ginsburg, the majority held that consumer perception alone should determine whether terms are registrable as trademarks or generic and free for all to use.

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