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RE: [wg-b] famous names
I've been thinking about chartered gTLDs for some time, as some of you may
recall, from other work on various lists. In some of my very early filings
on Green Paper and White Paper, and in public meetings, I raised two areas
of possible exploration: a list of "famous and well known marks, based on
an objective criteria largely, with a fairly high bar. I was thinking of
multiple regions (more than one) and a number of something like 35 countries
(but not all within one region, maybe at least three in more than one
region. Please don't overreact to this posting. It is an idea to consider in
order to clear out some of the barriers that are facing us. It's not a
perfect approach, but we need to keep in mind that the Internet doesn't
exist totally outside of physical space. That is, so far, individuals
continue to live in physical space, even if they spend a lot of time online.
SO, I don't know if Philip's idea works for anyone, but it is interesting to
If we don't do chartered gTLDs, I can't imagine how we generate new space;
here's my concern: if my mark is registered in over 100 countries and 4 of
the 5 ICANN regions, then if a .biz, .firm; .co; .telecom; .internet;
.wireless; .cable is introduced, then I think a commercial company who
offers communications, cable, and wireless would have to consider
registering in all. That adds cost to the registering company; does provide
revenue to the registrars/registry, but doesn't result in new space.
Probably generates a lot of disputes and lawsuits--all unproductive
expenditures of money, and frustrating to everyone concerns, including the
consumer who is just looking for a business, or NGO to get information or
conduct a transaction.
IF instead, other approaches are taken; adding affirmatively consistent
second level domains (@auto.com; @med.com; @lawfirm.com; @drs.com might be
one approach, but a better option might be adding chartered gTLDs, like
.med; law; .store. The above company might have to register in .store if
they operate storefronts for their wireless phones, but maybe they could
"pass" on the other two. And, if these TLDS have charters, like .edu,
then two things will happen, I speculate: one, there is "new space" for
those entities who are in those areas. Companies who don't fit the charter
wouldn't have to proactively register to protect their brands; and consumers
can be gradually acclimated to an approach which is similar to what they
experience in physical space in finding resources via a sort of functional
Thanks, Philip, for getting this discussion moving ...
Personally, I would like to see Working Group B continue to work and to take
on the discussion of the criteria for introducing new gTLDs,
characteristics, issues, etc. WG-C hasn't demonstrated an effective ability
to police itself and stay on point with effective communications. It has a
very large number of "members" but very few active participants... I'm not
adverse to both working in parallel; the constituencies seem very different.
From: Philip Sheppard [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2000 9:08 AM
To: Working Group B
Subject: Re: [wg-b] famous names
The questions raised on this WG regarding the link between famous trademarks
and charter gTLDs is an interesting one. I detect a sense of unfairness in
the idea that a famous mark would be given priority for each and every new
gTLD commercial or non-commercial. I hear concern that if a famous mark
could be any trademark then thousands of domains will be scooped up.
These concerns are valid but unrealistic. The proposal from the IPC for a
list of famous names is describing a list of globally famous trademarks -
i.e. known to consumers in London, Rio, New York and Sydney perhaps. Such
marks are few and far between - the list would be modest in length.
However, list or no list, the issue of trademarks and charter gTLDs is of
more interest. Linking trademarks to charters is an on-line parallel to how
trademarks operate in the real world. TMs have classes of goods which allow
co-existence. Lotus for software and Lotus for cars are happy in the
off-line world. Thus Lotus.auto and Lotus.software should co-exist happily
on-line from different owners. Equally, a non-comm site on flowers should be
able to register and defend Lotus.flowers.
But, the moment we believe that creating a poor imitation of dotcom such as
dotbiz is a good idea then Lotus Lotus and Lotus will all clash. The
solution to future name disputes is charter domains.