In Support of "Closed Generics"
I am writing to respond to those several people who have commented that generic terms cannot be trademarked. Their words are correct, but their meaning is not. It is a true statement to say that a generic term cannot be trademarked if the generic term is used in a non-fanciful way, or used in a way that is not arbitrary. For example, the word "Apple" could not be trademarked for an Apple grower, but it could be - and is - trademarked for a computer company. Generic Top Level Domains should be eligible for trademark production because they are generic terms used in an unfamiliar - or fanciful - way. In the same way, the term "Apple" has been successfully trademarked by Apple Computer, Inc. because the term Apple is a common word used in an unfamiliar, arbitrary way and is therefore eligible for trademark protection. (See USPTO Registration Number 2808567). The word "book" as a Top Level Domain is a fanciful, arbitrary use of the generic term book. In no way does the word "book" describe a Top Level Domain registry. Therefore, the term "book" as a Top Level domain is not a generic term. For more information, see Wikipedia's entry on this subject. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark_distinctiveness Top Level Domains, today, are not eligible for trademark protection on the basis that, according to the USPTO, the Top Level Domain does not qualify as a source-identifying mark. However, this is an error, because by definition, a Top Level Domain identifies the source of Registry services provided. In fact, most of the brand applications that were filed in the 2012 application round indicate that one of the reasons that they applied for a Top Level Domain was to provide a trusted, authentic source for company information - so that people would know that when they visit a .brand TLD that the source of the website is the corresponding brand. ICANN would save itself a lot of trouble if, instead of trying to invent legal protections for its applicants, it merely embraced the body of law that already exists for the claiming of words for business purposes: Trademark law. As I have said before, such a circumstance would in no way limit ICANN's power to approve new registry operators. For example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) grants approval for telecommunications providers to operate on specific frequencies, however, the USPTO grants Trademarks for those operators. In the same way, ICANN should retain authority to approve new Top Level Domain operators; however, the USPTO must retain authority to administer Trademark law. We urge ICANN to encourage the USPTO to begin providing Trademark protection for Top Level Domains. Sincerely, Mary Iqbal Get New TLDs Inc. www.GetNewTLDs.com