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Re: [wg-b] Brand Names That Are Not Allowed To Be Used In Advertising

I think you have something there, Ms. Aguilar.

Why, I recently read that America Online is selling the domain name aol.com to Time Warner for quite a bit of money.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: M. Hope Aguilar <hope@gazillion.com>
To: John Berryhill Ph.D. J.D. <john@johnberryhill.com>
Cc: <wg-b@dnso.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2000 8:39 PM
Subject: Re: [wg-b] Brand Names That Are Not Allowed To Be Used In Advertising

> "John Berryhill Ph.D. J.D." wrote:
> > Moving on to some practical aspects, and getting beyond this "free speech"
> > distraction....
> >
> > Does anyone have any practical suggestions on what to do with trademarks that
> > are not allowed to be used in connection with advertising in many places?
> >
> > For example, what is the point of allowing cigarette companies the right to
> > pre-emptively register their domain names, when they are largely forbidden
> > from advertising their product anyway, and none of them has had the cojones to
> > test whether that rule applies to the internet?
> >
> > I've checked the registration for such terms as  winston.com , camel.com, and
> > doral.com, and none of them belong to the "right" people.  I personally smoke
> > a pack of Camel Lights each day, and I can't even find anywhere on the
> > internet to buy them.
> >
> > What the sunrise provision does is to ensure that R.J. Reynolds will have
> > priority in the word "Camel" over someone who wants to sell camels - you know,
> > that funny animal that spits.
> >
> > Now, Muhammad's Camel Lot cannot get a registered trademark for the word
> > "Camel", so he can't pre-emptively register the word "Camel" as a domain
> > name.  R.J. Reynolds, on the other hand, would be crucified if they actually
> > used their registration for "Camel" cigarettes to sell them on the internet.
> > But you can bet that they are going to "protect their brand" by making sure
> > that you aren't going to find any dromedaries at camel.anything.  Now THAT
> > makes a world of sense.
> >
> > As a matter of fact, you can't get a trademark registration for any term which
> > is generic for those goods and services.
> >
> > So what the sunrise provision does is to set up a domain name system where the
> > generic names of goods and services are LESS likely to have any correspondence
> > to a domain name.
> >
> > That reduces the communicative value of the internet.  If I want to look at a
> > camel, then it makes sense for the domain name to have something to do with
> > camels.  Why should a special right be granted to someone who is not even
> > allowed to advertise their product under that brand?
> >
> > I'd walk a mile for an answer to that one.
> John:
> I know you know the answer!   The communicative value of the Internet WILL BE
> preserved.  The communication will, however, go to the highest bidder.
> The seller of the generic domain name, "Camel" will not be some anonymous "John
> Doe" who was lucky enough to think of the generic word first; it will be R.J.
> Reynolds.  Besides, why should common people have such benefits automatically
> conferred upon them?
> Corporate trademark holders of the world have been forced to pay for lobbies to
> protect and enforce their interests on the Internet.  Remember, John what the TM
> holders are preventing is the "LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION" of their products with
> actual generic things.  Thus, in the interest of protecting netizens from being
> deceived, R.J. Reynolds will hold twenty-one generic domain names ("Camel," plus
> twenty variations like "Camels," "CamelDrivers," "CamelPack," "PackOfCamels,"
> and the like) which they will then sell to the highest bidder through special
> domain name brokers at www.sunrise-plus20.com.
> This way, R.J. Reynolds' trademark is protected.
> Regards,
> Hope
> --
> M. Hope Aguilar
> Gazillion Interactive               (310) 556.1875
> 1925 Century Park East
> Suite 1050                     Fax: (310) 556-3180
> Los Angeles, CA 90067-2701 hope@gazillion.com