A tv commercial for yet another hotel booking website just caught my eye, called getaroom:

This one was founded by a pair of lawyers, in fact, the same duo that founded Hotels.com.

I was left wondering whether getaroom is federally-registered, and it is, for “providing travel lodging information services and travel lodging booking agency services for travelers.”

It was registered back in 2011, without any need to show acquired distinctiveness, so it was considered inherently distinctive, I suspect because of the trope and double meaning.

Yet, the getaroom.com website has a very generic and un-branded look to it, and you’d never know the phrase is federally-registered as a trademark, much less a trademark at all.

Then, upon entering your destination and desired stay dates you’re led to a page that invites you to select from a variety of hotel options by clicking on a red button reading “get a room”.

From there, you’re led to a page showing more details about the selected hotel, then you’re invited to “book a room” by clicking on another red button.

I’m left thinking that the folks at getaroom might want to cancel their apparent booking for the use of an all lower case style, especially without the ® registration symbol.

What are the odds that one day getaroom will be groping to maintain its trademark status?

But who would have an interest in caring about that? Then I came across Book A Room, who ironically has no federally-registered rights that I could find in the phrase “Book A Room,” but it does a far better job of making clear trademark use of its chosen name:

In case you’re wondering about who might have prior rights, getaroom claims a first use date in 2009, while Book A Room, asserts it has been online since 1997.

So, would you rather have a room without a trademark or a trademark without a room?

Key: room = registration