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