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Re: [wg-b] "Oops" domains
Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
> Next question: do we also want to rule out of scope the question of whether
> nisan, niisan and nisssan should be reserved/blocked/actionable if "nissan"
> is found to be a famous mark?
Milton Mueller responded:
I think we do want to rule that out of scope. That is a can of worms that
create more disputes than it resolves.
I think both Harald and Milton raise good points. It is my hope that
Harald's concerns about purposeful misspellings are taken care of in a
different place --- back in WIPO Final Report Ch. 3 on the definition of
cybersquatting. Let me illustrate below why spellings close to a well-known
word are a dangerous slippery slope and why WIPO Ch. 3 solves the problem
Misspellings. Lots and lots of things are one character away from something
else. There is a rock group called Enema of the State and movies and books
about "Enemy of the State." A former popular TV puppet- ALF- had fan clubs
and ALF is one character away from ALA -- the large and wellknown American
Library Association. PETA -- a group which fights against pet ownership (and
lots of other things) is one character away from PETS -- a term which will be
used by pet owners for hobby clubs and information groups. No stretch of
trademark law wants PETA shutting down a PETS discussion group.
But if someone purposesly registered Nisan (one s) and tries to market cars,
they will get caught under traditional trademark infiringment -- and the
cybersquatting provisions -- for having a domain name mistakenly similar to a
trademark which is causing confusion as to the origin of goods and services.
Classic trademark infringement -- domain name will be taken. Done.
Our comprehensive work on cybersquatting, ch. 3, is one of the main reasons I
wonder about the need for famous marks Ch. 4. Why don't we see how Ch. 3
works before creating new global regulation?