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no trademark, no private ownership

  • To: <comments-closed-generic-05feb13@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: no trademark, no private ownership
  • From: "Arne Babenhauserheide (IMK)" <arne.babenhauserheide@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2013 11:03:24 +0100

Dear ICANN folks,

I just read about your plans to give control of generic TLDs into the
hands of private persons or companies.

While I recognize that the technology might have improved to the point
that we can have many more TLDs than before, allowing single entities to
control a generic class of stuff like services or products seems very
ill advised to me.

Essentially they then get control of a given brand, like “books”, which
would be internationally recognized. But such generic brands aren’t
allowed in international trademark law.

With domain names you can give trademark control on a technical level,
but that must not give more generic names than general trademark law allows.

A domain name is already a broader control than the one given by
trademark law, since it is not tied to a Nizza service class. If I own
the brand foo for the service class printed stuff (class 16 by Nizza
classification), I might be able to sue the owner of foo.com to give out
the domain name. But if someone registers foo for class 41 (online
publication) I might still be forced to give out the domain.

Having even broader control would create legal uncertainty and undermine
international trademark law.

So please refrain from private control of generic TLDs.

Best wishes,
Arne

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