[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Top Level Domain vs. Trademark

Title: Top Level Domain vs. Trademark
Over the past 6 - 8 weeks I have been embroiled in a dispute with a Singapore firm over the country code .cc in reference to a web site. Without going into the details of this situation it occurs to me many people reading this board are missing a major point to be considered in the TLD debate. That is trademark status. As one who has taken the time, effort and money to obtain trademark status for our small company's web site I have, as you might imagine, a definite point of view in this issue.

I am in favor of a system that recognizes the trademark as a determining factor in the registration of a domain name. For example. The trademark for IBM (because most of us have heard of them) is registered by International Business Machines. It is my opinion that whatever TLD, country code other domain system is in place IBM holds the right to that domain by virtue of the fact that is their trademark. They have taken the initiative to register and protect the name and no domain suffix should pre-empt those efforts.

My position may elicit some to write concerning the small company or individual who can't afford a trademark. I am sorry, if the word or mark is that important and critical to the business, they will invest the few hundred dollars to protect it. You are not serious about the business if you don't. End of conversation.

Now lest someone suggest I have IBM-like resources, don't. What IBM wastes in a year on office supplies would make me a happy man if I could have it as a years billing.

I know there are at least two organizations (no I don't remember the URL's.) who are arguing trademark status should not determine ownership of domain names by corporations. Not all corporations are IBM or Olivetti or Bayer. I'm not. What's more, I have read about these groups and visited their web sites and both lead me to believe they may be comprised of people more concerned with rage against a system than protecting the rights of the netizen at large. To me they seem self serving and somewhat anarchist, not true global citizens.

I further suggest to the internet community, IANA, ICANN and WIPO that whoever registers a trademark first on the basis of date, regardless of country, should be the legal owner of the name world wide. Company's wishing to use a trademark in another country could negotiate with the trademark owner for that use. If the owner is not going to use the mark in that country it can be source of revenue. I am perfectly willing to abide by that. If a firm in Singapore can prove use prior to my use, they can have the name, otherwise it is mine.

The cry will rise, "But name.cc (or .tc or .web or .inc, or .whatever) is another domain name altogether and should not be subject to trademark protection." To this I answer no. It is an address, not a name. It is a method of finding another entity, To those I say think of your physical address, change the province or state. Do you want your mail going to Ontario Canada instead of Ontario county New York? To me this is an argument for lack of originality, laziness, or purposely trying to trade off another's name or reputation.

Many on the net espouse the globalization of society the internet affords, but few have really given thought to the ramifications it brings. Society as a whole is being forced to think global, not just the Americans, but all nationalities. Think about that statement. Really think about it, not for a few minutes but for a few days, but as you shower or drive to work. Let it sink in. For the first time in history we must think and act globally. When we weren't watching the world went global on ALL of us and no amount of whining, complaining, pleading factual ignorance or anarchy will change that. This will either excite you or frighten you. I am excited despite my trademark problems.

So I have added my comments for trademark over TLD or country code. Let the wailing begin.

David Lenweaver
Lenweaver A+D

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy