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    Corinithians Reversed: Federal Court WIPO UDRP Challenge Upheld | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 95 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: PhillipsSucks
    by mjrippon on Tuesday December 11 2001, @12:01AM (#4047)
    User #2960 Info
    I agree with your conclusion, but the point I am making is that both Vivendi Universal (a multinational media group, Vivendi is a French media company that bought out Universal studios) and Phillips are trademarks, capable of distinguishing the products marked as such in *any* language, whereas sucks, although being widely understood in its slang sense, is still an English language word that may not necessarily be understood at all.

    For example, a doctor in Karachi or Chang Mai may recognise that his TV is made by Phillips, but may have no idea what "sucks" means. One navigating the internet, he may come across the domain name PhillipsSucks and believe "sucks" to be a new Phillips product. Who are we, as native English speakers, to say different?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: PhillipsSucks by mjrippon
    Re: PhillipsSucks
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday December 11 2001, @06:48AM (#4053)
    User #2810 Info
    Well, the language of the namespace to date is English for historical reasons, though IDN's remain pending, the delay partly due to trademark issues. As you say yourself, Vivendi is a French company, and Phillips, I believe, is Dutch. The namespace at most is based on Roman characters. Someone who doesn't read Roman characters (a majority of the world's population), can't be assumed to know the meaning of the character string vivendiuniversal, any more than I understand or can distinguish between or amongst Chinese characters.

    Your hypothetical doctor in Karachi or Chang Mai with a Phillips TV may also possess a hypothetical satellite dish and watch Jerry Springer, thus learning the meaning of the term sucks. If one is willing to assume that some non-English (or non-Roman character reading) person can make such a distinction, not just for one trademark made up of Roman characters, but for all Roman character trademarks worldwide, one should also be willing to assume that that person is capable of understanding enough to know the meaning of the term sucks. What's more, if that person is able to understand the trademark portion of a domain name, that person should be equally able to understand the content available from that address, assuming it is in the same or similar language. If the content is critical of a trademark holder then there is little chance that most would assume it was owned by the trademark holder. As I say, it comes down to intent.

    The idea that a trademarked name in combination with any character string should, or even could, be taken to mean that that character string is a product (or service) of the trademark holder is an unwarranted expansion of trademark rights. If I register FnordAppleOrchard.com it shouldn't be a given that I am passing off as, or critical of, a computer maker. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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