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[registrars] Article

Here is a fair use copy of the article that I tried to provide a link to
last week.

Court Curbs Power of ICANN

                       U.S. judge says courts may second-guess
                       domain-name arbiter

                       Victoria Slind-Flor
                       The National Law Journal
                       May 18, 2000

                       In the first ruling of its kind, a federal
                       judge in Illinois has said that courts are
                       not bound by the administrative
                       proceedings of the organization
                       established to provide management of the
                       Internet domain-name system.
                       Weber-Stephen v. Armitage, 00 C 1738.

                       Armitage Hardware and Building Supply
                       Inc., a Chicago-based retailer, has been
                       selling the popular Weber barbecue grills
                       over the Internet since 1995. The company
                       sold the merchandise through a Web site
                       whose name would tip off potential
                       purchasers that the grills were likely to be
                       sold in that location: www.webergrills.com.

                       According to earlier news stories, the site
                       attracted potential new customers from as
                       far away as Britain, India and Singapore,
                       and Web sales quickly grew to nearly 10
                       percent of the hardware company's

                       But, eventually, a dispute broke out
                       between the hardware company and the
                       grill's manufacturer, Weber-Stephen
                       Products Co., of Palatine, Ill.

                       Weber-Stephen filed a
                       trademark-infringement suit in federal
                       court in Chicago, charging the hardware
                       company with using the Weber trademarks
                       and service marks in a deceptive,
                       confusing and misleading manner.

                       NAMING NAMES

                       Additionally, Weber-Stephen went to the
                       Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and
                       Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit,
                       private-sector corporation set up to
                       oversee Web-name assignments and
                       resolve domain-name disputes. Under the
                       organization's Uniform Domain Name
                       Dispute Resolution Policy, Weber-Stephen
                       asked ICANN to cancel Armitage's domain
                       names or to transfer them to Weber. In
                       response, Armitage asked the federal
                       court to stay ICANN's administrative
                       proceedings and declare them nonbinding.

                       In a ruling on May 3, U.S. District Judge
                       Marvin E. Aspen determined that the court
                       is not bound by proceedings of an ICANN
                       panel. But he indicated uncertainty about
                       just how much deference the
                       administrative procedures should be given.
                       He stayed the federal trademark case
                       pending the outcome of the ICANN
                       decision and said that "at this time we
                       declined to determine the precise standard
                       by which we would refuse the panel's
                       decision and what degree of deference (if
                       any) we would give that decision. Neither
                       the ICANN Policy nor its governing rules
                       dictate to the court what weight should be
                       given to a panel's decision."

                       The ruling is significant because of the
                       volume of dispute-resolution proceedings
                       now before the administrative
                       organization. According to the ICANN Web
                       site, on May 9 there were 518 unresolved