[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [wg-c] Retraction of previous proposal
At 02:00 PM 30/07/1999 -0400, Kevin J. Connolly wrote:
>You are not a trademark attorney. I would be surprised to see any tolerance
>of any dilution of a mark as powerful as CocaCola. Or Golden Arches. Or
>Hidden Mickeys. There are lots of marks that have NO business being used
>in ANY context other than by (or with leave of) the fabulously successful
>that have used these marks to identify their goods and services and which
>expended millions of dollars to develop those marks. Does anyone on this
>that The CocaCola Group of Companies will not spend the $5MM or so it
would take to
>squash ICANN like a bug if it poses a threat to their marks?
"Squashing ICANN like a bug" by spending raw cash would seem ill advised
for Fortune 500 companies who are also dependent on goodwill.
More likely would be a policy of lobbying and attempting to co-opt whoever
would try to have a say in the future ICANN. Especially ambitious TM lawyers.
Let me speak here as a "mom & pop store" TM holder. I might be the only
real one on this list.
I have spent good money acquiring a TM for my unique company name, even
successfully fighting off a big and greedy Fortune 500 company.
Why? *Because* I'm on the Net. (With the rush to register businesses on
the Net, isn't this music in the ears of TM registering law firms?)
If I only had a corner store in meatspace, would I care if someone in
Singapore or Japan would "dilute" my mark by having a similar DN registered?
But because I am on the Net, it makes a difference.
If someone would start registering my trademarked name under other TLD's ,
what can I do about it?
Let me hear a sensible suggestion from those TM attorneys that have
professed to care for those TM owners who have only been their clients for
the registration process, but who would be very hesitant to litigate.
To forestall conflict, I could also agree with a registry requirement that
demands evidence of good faith from the registrant with regards to other
people's registered trademarks.
But beyond that it is trademark law that has to adjust to new technology,
not new technology that should be curbed to accommodate luddite fears or be
abused to expand IP rights into unjustified power.
Now here's my take on expansion of the TLD space.
The limited space and the popularity of .com have created the impression of
an artificial shortage of SLD's . This impression of shortage is highly
beneficial to the current registries. It also has attracted aspirants, who
want a share of this pie by having a few more TLD's, but certainly not too
Some of these aspirants are now speaking on behalf of the poor oppressed
mom & pop TM owners to bolster a weak argument to continue a squeeze on
the TLD space that has little to do with TM protection.
Trying to stop expansion of the TLD space does not bring any real benefits
to small-time TM owners. The ways by which trademarks can be perceived to
be diluted on the Net are near-infinite, even under the current TLD setup.
The courts in the major jurisdictions are continuing to bring more clarity
in what is infringement on the Net and what is not. This is needed and
Voluntary adherence to a dispute resolution scheme can make conflicts less
But translating IP protection into raw power over the Domain space of the
Internet is not the answer.
What the Famous Marks and their lobbyists are trying to do is to argue the
technical *possibilities* of brand creation that the Internet brings into a
pro-active stranglehold on the liberty and property of others.
For the benefit of all current and future Domain name Owners and to
encourage further investment in a Net presence by Individuals (the mom& pop
stores) , this should be resisted.
--Joop Teernstra LL.M.-- , bootstrap of
the Cyberspace Association,
the constituency for Individual Domain Name Owners