I wrote a couple weeks back about the ICA and Booking.com. Today Quartz came out with a very sensationalist headline, “A .com trademark case at the US Supreme Court could change the web as we know it.”
Ephrat Livni wrote a very detailed piece on the upcoming case going before the Supereme Court.
From the article:
Granting a linguistic monopoly
Take Booking.com, for example, which ranked 216 on the Fortune 500 last year. EFF points out that it might seek to exclude competitors from using booking.biz, booking.co, booking.inc, or booking.company as domain names.
It already claimed the .booking domain and could threaten competitors using second-level domains that include the generic term or a close variant, like ebooking. com, or bookings.com, or even booker.com.
Add to that trademark law’s “doctrine of foreign equivalents,” which extends protection beyond the English language, and Booking.com’s ”linguistic monopoly”—as EFF puts it—could stretch to the word “booking” in other tongues, too.
Domain names matter. They’re valuable in and of themselves, even putting trademark protections aside.
This amounts to a significant competitive advantage. A company with a trademarked Generic.com domain could exclude competitors from using the same common term for their goods and services. Thus an obvious search keyword for consumers wouldn’t turn up complete results. That will stifle competition and drive up prices for shoppers, according to EFF.
Tip of the cap to Lox