More trademark follies
Date: Friday May 25 2001, @05:50PM
Topic: Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

It appears that ICANN, some time back, got a letter from the folks at the Bank for International Settlements, an international intergovernmental organization. The BIS folks, apparently, urged that ICANN's approval of the .biz TLD was inconsistent with their own rights, under international trademark treaties, in the BIS string. Louis Touton has now responded: "While we appreciate the Bank's desire to formally assert whatever legal rights it may have, an exclusion of the use of the string 'biz' as an Internet top-level domain is not supported by legal principles and would be contrary to the global public interest. With respect for the proper scope of the Bank's rights . . . ICANN is proceeding with the introduction of the .biz top-level domain."

The core of the legal analysis in the ICANN letter is that top-level domain names can never violate anyone's trademark rights, so ICANN itself can never find itself at the wrong end of a trademark suit for allocating the names. The letter, of course, extends no such solicitude to the registrants of second-level domain names.

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Re: More trademark follies
by 300baud (service at evesnetwork dot com) on Saturday May 26 2001, @12:12AM (#667)
User #2869 Info |
If the thinking that a TLD is not subject to TM laws is valid, can I start my own style TLD with the name .ebay, or how about, .aol ?

I kind of doubt it.

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Re: More trademark follies
by hofjes on Tuesday May 29 2001, @08:56AM (#679)
User #60 Info
The TLD does not identify the source or quality of goods or services. Accordingly, it cannot be a trademark. A second level domain name generallly does act as a source identifier., for example, identifies Amazon as the source for on-line retail services. If, for argument's sake, a TLD were a service mark, then every SLD registrant would have to enter into a trademark license agreement in order to use the domain. As with all well drafted licenses, the SLD holder would have to agree not to use the SLD, except in conformity with the standards set by the trademark owner. Nobody would register a domain name that a registry-trademark-owner could ultimately control or revoke. TLDs cannot be trademarks. I must agree with Louis on this one.
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