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[comments-wgb] Words First

The Intellectual Property Constituency recommends granting all trademark owners a sunrise exclusion on domain names when new generic top level domains are introduced. The Sunrise+20 proposal is an infringement avoidance mechanism in the form of a pre-emptive right to register the mark and 20 variations as domain names before registration is made available to the general public. To put this proposal into perspective, Sunrise+20 could potentially exclude 20 million domain names--that's seven million more domain names than the size of the current .COM database--before the general public and the non-commercial community of Internet users have the opportunity to register a single domain name.

A 1996 comment of Jon Postel bears repeating: "The domain name system should provide for the needs of the many rather than protecting the privileges of the few."

Any sunrise exclusion amounts to a priority virtual land grant to trademark owners over all other domain name registrants. The presumption that a Sunrise exclusion is essential to prevent cyberpiracy is baseless. Cyberpiracy represents a small percentage of all domain name registrations. Mere registration of a name does not provide evidence of cyberpiracy or bad faith. According to Network Solutions' January 2000 data, 78% of the domain name registrants register solely one name. The problems some trademark owners face by true misappropriation of their marks can be resolved through the courts, not by pushing a square peg into a round hole.

Below is a list some common dictionary words that are also used as trademarks. These words had widely accepted and published meaning long before they took on new life as trademarks. In most of the cases below, there are multiple trademark registrations for the same word, even if only one is listed here:

acrobat (software)
apple (computer hardware and grocery store)
blockbuster (video store)
borders (bookseller)
camel (cigarette)
caterpillar (construction equipment)
chevron (gasoline)
clover (dairy products)
clue (board game)
contradict (perfume)
courtyard (hotel)
crescent (jewelry)
crown (bookseller, seasonings, lathes, credit card services)
dodge (automobile manufacturer)
dolphins (football team)
esquire (magazine)
excel (software)
fantastic (foodstuffs)
fidelity (financial services)
ford (automobile manufacturer)
framework (computerized services)
gateway (computer retail services)
insight (magazine)
interlude (perfume)
loft (clothing)
mirror (computer hardware)
money (magazine)
mouse (power sander)
opium (perfume)
oracle (computer software and hardware)
palladium (watches, makeup, software, clothing, footwear)
paramount (movie studio)
paradigm (software, amplifiers, air conditioners)
pear (massaging device)
pedigree (dog food)
pets (computer software)
pledge (furniture polish)
prince (bird food, entertainment)
pseudo (computer services)
quark (software)
sand dollar (restaurant)
sapphire (leather polish)
sat (acronym for Scholastic Aptitude Test)
shadow (jewelry)
sharks (hockey team)
shell (gasoline)
signature (perfume, accoustical panels, medical equipment)
slim (agricultural implements)
sprint (telephone service provider)
staples (office supply)
star (newspaper)
talk (magazine)
target (department store)
thrifty (drugstore)
time (magazine)
trademark (perfume, computer hardware, steel cabinets)
veritas (software development)

Words First is a new project launched today to collect a list of common dictionary words that also happen to be registered as trademarks.
You can help expand this list by sending other common words that are known to be trademarks to erony@marin.k12.ca.us. This list will be posted at: http:/www.domainhandbook.com/wordsfirst.html

Ellen Rony // http://www.domainhandbook.com
Co-author *=" ____ / erony@marin.k12.ca.us
The Domain Name Handbook \ ) +1 415.435.5010
// \\ "Carpe canine"

The more people I meet, the more I like my dog.