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RE: [wg-b] 800 Telephone Scenario

Michael, thanks for your posting. I have asked some of the "famous marks"
companies to comment on your posting so we can all develop a better
understanding of each other's views and concerns.  

-----Original Message-----
From: d3nnis [mailto:d3nnis@mciworld.com]
Sent: Monday, September 20, 1999 10:26 AM
To: mpalage@infonetworks.com; Wg-b@dnso.org
Subject: Re: [wg-b] 800 Telephone Scenario

I don't feel the 800 # analogy really works here. Among other things, it
opens the issue of vanity phone numbers, suggesting that a parallel
process should apply here.

My real objection is with the limitation of *famous-ness* to trademarked
or service marked names.  Just as a curious side-note, I saw in last week's
L'Express an article stating that the actor Leonardo DeCaprio is
trademarking his
name in multiple countries.  I'm not sure I want to see religions
or any other institutions associated with sacred or profoundly
historical  institutions demoted to a status below that of trademarks. 

WIPO Section 4 repeatedly referred to 'parasitical and predatory
practices'  committed against famous marks.  I would like to know why
it isn't parasitical and predatory when it occurs to a religion, a
tribal name, or a beloved personage?


> In trying to keep what we do in this working group as close to the real
> world as possible consider the following history lesson. When the
> telephone exchange expanded from 800 to 888, the FCC granted existing 800
> customers a right of first refusal to secure their same telephone number
> the new 888 exchange. This right of first refusal was not extended to
> existing customers when the 877 exchange was recently added. I would like
> thank Marilyn Cade and her colleagues from AT&T for verifying this
> information for me.
> Using this history lesson as a starting point, could a right of first
> refusal for those marks deemed famous coupled with the currently proposed
> domain name dispute policy work to protect the interests of  individual
> domain name holders, small business owners, and large multinational
> corporations? Any proposed right of first refusal would be limited to the
> exact famous trademark itself, no sub-strings for the rather long list of
> technical and legal issues already reiterated on the list.
> Positive - There are no per se exclusions from the root.
> Negative - A famous trademark owner would still have the potential ability
> to abuse the system by initially securing valuable new domain name space
> the root in gTLDs outside their natural zone of expansion that did not in
> fact dilute their famous mark.
> Positive - But this would only happen after a showing that a mark is
> (we will worry about the definition latter).  If doing so protects
> from confusion, is this necessarily a bad thing? Plus any third party
> be able to challenge this right of first refusal if they feel that they
> a legitimate or superior claim to the domain name.
> Positive - Perhaps the IP community would be willing to waive their right
> first refusal for domain name registrations in purely non-commercial
> and rely solely on the dispute policy to resolve alleged infringements? If
> pattern of abusive domain name registrations surfaces in these new
> non-commercial domains, we could always active the right of first refusal
> mechanism.
> Positive - This mechanism will allow for the controlled growth of the name
> space, similar to the controlled growth of the toll free exchanges, as we
> fine tune the rules to meet circumstances which we could not even
> contemplate if we tried.
> I believe the recent decisions in the clue.com and avery.net decisions
> I posted to the list last week shows that it is in our best interest to
> reach a compromise among ourselves. I do not believe that costly
> is in anyone's best interest.
> I will be the first to admit that this possible solution is NOT perfect,
> I believe it is one of the best solutions to date that would meet the
> minimal threshold requirements for all participants. I believe this is as
> close to a consensus compromise as possible based upon the rather diverse
> viewpoints of the participants. What we as a group must realize is that
> until we enact some reasonable/workable safeguards, the likelihood of ANY
> new gTLDs being added are doubtful.
> The votebot will be operational by the end of the week. I will hold a
> vote for all participants to become familiar with it.
> As always I welcome the groups comments - both positive and negative :)