WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – For years, Justices had rejected proposals to broadcast oral arguments live. Tuesday’s hearing took place by audio conference call, with the court building closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The novel coronavirus pandemic prompted the US Supreme Court to break with a long-held policy prohibiting live video or audio of broadcasts of oral arguments from inside the courtroom, as the virus closed court building to lawyers and spectators and justices allowed the public to listen in to a conference call as lawyers argued a copyright case in over whether a company can trademark a generic term by simply adding “dot com” to the term.
The US Patent and Trademark Office is attempting to stop Booking.com, a popular website from trademarking the site’s name, arguing that the term “booking” is too generic for copyright protection.
More important that the case, however, is the break with precedent in which the court limited access to oral arguments to participants and spectators seated in the ornate court building that overlooks the US Capitol building, according to legal analysts.