Not Unique Enough To Get A Trademark

from the't-unique? dept

Eric Goldman points us to the news that has had the trademark application on its own name rejected (warning: pdf) as being too generic. I have to admit I'm really, really surprised about this. I would think that the combination of "hotels" with a ".com" on the end switches it from being generic to distinct, since there's only one However, the trademark board and the court note that there are lots of other sites that use a combination of hotels and .com, such as,, That could be true, but I think those are all different enough themselves from the straight that even getting a trademark on alone shouldn't prohibit those other sites from existing. But that's not what the court found, noting that itself was perfectly generic and unprotectable by trademark. It's not clear how much this would actually matter, since anyone else using the phrase will ultimately end up helping to advertise itself. However, it does raise significant questions about trademarks on other generic words plus a .com at the end.

Filed Under: hotels, trademarks

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Joe Gordon, 25 Feb 2010 @ 9:26pm

    Thank god for the ruling

    Thank god for this ruling. Of course there can only be one This is not why they've spent large volumes of money. They have spent the money for one they could go after anyone and everyone with the hotel or hotels in or as part of their domain with udrp disputes and trademark infringement claims. Anyone who believes otherwise is on something very strong. I am someone who knows. I am the owner of a generic .net and my direct competitor in the same business who owns the which ranks #1 in google throughout all searches related to the industry has hired a lawyer to try to find a way to go after me. Again thank god for the ruling. This company now knows they have no trademark case. They have tried to have phony customers call me to see if I would pass myself off as them to no avail and they still persist with even more nefarious schemes as prescibed by their hired guns. Why do they do this you ask? Because millions of dollars of venture capital is on the line if this company can create an online brand out of the generic term. All I want is to do business on the generic domain I rightlfully own. I have a branded corporation as well but the benefits to having both a brand with generics is enormous eg. Campbells Soup owning Anyone who thinks that should receive a trademark is not living in the real world as this was nothing but a not so inconsipcuous attempt to eradicate competition and gain market share. Fortunately the courts saw right through this and pulled the curtains closed on them and the rug out from under them.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.