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please reject the IRT report recommendations

  • To: irt-final-report@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: please reject the IRT report recommendations
  • From: ron wickersham <rjw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 15:00:59 -0700 (PDT)

the direction taken by the IRT report is bad policy and extends some
trademark rights (those of nationally-registered trademarks) beyond the
legal limits established by existing law, while ignoring other trademark
rights (in the US, the state trademarks and non-registered trademarks)
and in addition creates an ICANN sanctioned "trademark right" for words
used in a generic sense as a domain name.

the registration and use of a domain name using a generic word should
not be abridged by any international public policy.   note that a
trademark (even a nationally registered trademark) of a generic word
does not grant the trademark holder any rights outside the narrow
classification of his mark.   MicroSoft's trademark on "windows" does
not mean that they can stop the world from using the word in a descriptive
sense.    but the IRT report extends that limited trademark right to any
use of the generic word in domain names.

this has been contentious nearly from the beginning of the Internet
domain name system, and the original proposition that domain names were
similar to street names (which are not eligible for trademark protection)
has been destroyed (and i must point out) incrementally by the changes
in the UDRP and should the IRT report be followed thru, the public will
be subject to unwarranted attacks by some trademark holders.  note that
outside any ICANN policies, the trademark holder has many avenues of
recourse should legally recognized rights be percieved to be infringed.

i urge not only that the IRT report be rejected out of hand, but that
the UDRP be reviewed with respect to fairness for trademark holders of
all types as well as fair to non-trademark users of generic words for
domain names.


Ron Wickersham
participant in NCUC

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