Interested in training for your team? Click here to learn more and Implications for Domain-Name Trademarks: Distinctiveness, Consumer Surveys, Functionality

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will guide trademark counsel through the Supreme Court's June 30, 2020 decision in and its implications on brand management strategy related to domain names containing generic terms, including trademark prosecution and trademark enforcement. The panel will address the potential effectiveness of surveys in assisting the Trademark Office and courts in determining whether a domain name has acquired trademark significance, along with other best practices in preparing a generic domain name for attempted registration or enforcement as a trademark.


The Supreme Court in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. B.V. held that a domain name composed of a generic word (Booking) and a generic top-level domain (.com) can qualify for trademark registration if consumers view the domain name as a composite mark that denotes a source of goods and services and not as a generic term. The Court held that a generic term with ".com" is a "generic name for a class of goods or services only if the term has that meaning to consumers." The decision opens up the playing field for companies owning well-known domain names containing only generic terms “before the dot” and allows for the opportunity for trademark protection.

The decision will likely impact the volume of applications for generic + .com domain-name composite marks and the volume of appeals to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of genericness refusals against generic + .com domain-name composite marks. Because the Supreme Court determined that the registrability of a generic + .com domain-name composite mark turns on consumer perception, practitioners and brand owners will want to understand the best practices in creating a record of consumer recognition for ex parte appeals.

Listen as our authoritative panel of trademark attorneys examines the Supreme Court's June 30, 2020, decision in and the implications of the decision on brand management strategy for many notable domain names. The panel will offer best practices for registering generic domain names, including building a strong record with survey evidence and avoiding ancillary refusals such as functionality refusals. The panel will also offer insight on cost-benefit analyses for seeking registration of generic + .com domain-name composite marks.



  1. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office v. B.V. (U.S. June 30, 2020)
  2. Implications of decision for registration of generic + .com domain-name composite marks
  3. Implications of decision for enforcement of generic + .com domain-name composite marks
  4. Building a record for registering generic + .com domain-name composite marks
  5. Other implications of the decision


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What will the Supreme Court's decision mean for registering and enforcing generic + .com domain-name composite marks?
  • How should particular evidence regarding a mark's significance be analyzed and weighted?
  • What best practices should counsel employ to get trademark protection for generic + .com domain-name composite marks?


Feldman, Joel
Joel Feldman

Greenberg Traurig

Mr. Feldman, Vice Chair of the firm’s Trademark & Brand Management Group, counsels companies, organizations,...  |  Read More

Fingerhut, Eric
Eric T. Fingerhut

Office Managing Member
Dykema Gossett

Mr. Fingerhut is the former leader of the firm’s Trademark & Copyright Practice for eight years. Ranked as a...  |  Read More

Frohling, Daniel
Daniel D. Frohling

Co-Chair, Retail & Consumer Brands
Loeb & Loeb

Mr. Frohling is a leading legal strategist on marketing and corporate communications mechanisms and content. He...  |  Read More

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