DNSO Names Council
Jeffrey J. Neuman, Director of Policy & Intellectual Property
ICANN and the Alternate Roots
May 8, 2001
Arguments have been made that the process used by the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to select new top-level domains (TLDs) for use
on the Internet has been unfair and unlawful to alternate root providers. These
arguments are incorrect, legally and factually. In selecting the new TLDs,
ICANN balanced the goal of expanding the scope of the Internet with its paramount
interest in maintaining its stability, while also recognizing existing legal protections.
Moreover, ICANN’s selection of the new TLDs followed a comprehensive process that
afforded all interested and affected parties the opportunity to be heard.
demonstrated below, claims by the alternate roots that their property rights have
been infringed are without merit because generic top-level domains are not and cannot
be considered intellectual property. This means no property rights are being
lost or taken away. The alternate roots, like other members of the public,
were afforded the opportunity to participate in the application process and express
their positions, yet many chose not to do so. In fact, the alternate roots’
operation may deprive others of valuable property rights as they appear to invite
cybersquatting, trademark infringement and other fraudulent activity.
NameCritic; "They were afforded the right to be heard within 30 days notice. Not
enough time to give a good business plan, then they refused some of the applicants
due to their business plan they forced them to hastily prepare. And there have not
been a rash of domain name disputes in the alternate or cooperative roots. That has
occurred in the legacy root under ICANN and the UDRP. This statement is false and
seems to be designed to purposely mislead readers into thinking the alt roots are
responsible for cybersquatting. Very irresponsible of them to make such an unfounded
The alternate roots’ arguments should not prevent swift approval
and implementation of ICANN’s proposed new TLDs, unimpeded by the meritless arguments
offered by the alternate roots, which are discussed in greater depth below.
NameCritic; "Meritless to who? This is only an opinion. It has no merit to this company
maybe, but has merit to users of the Internet. As a User I want access to ALL of
the Internet, not just the portion ICANN and the US Department of Commerce say I
can have access to."
I. ICANN’s Management
of the DNS Ensures the Stability of the Internet
Management and oversight of
the domain name system is essential to the stability and functionality of the Internet.
The Department of Commerce has exercised oversight of the domain name system through
a series of agreements with ICANN. Pursuant to these contracts, ICANN has controlled
the domain name system through the “authoritative root server.” The “authoritative”
root is often referred to as the “legacy root” because it is the continuation of
the original DARPA net root system. Attached as an appendix is an explanation
of the domain name system on the authoritative root and the historical development
of its oversight. In sum, the authoritative root is the predominant root on
which Internet traffic travels. Alternate roots do exist, however, they use
private domain names that do not exist on the authoritative root.
"It is not a continuation of the Darpa Net Root System. This is an entirely different
network. The use of the Authoritative Root as the description is exactly the correct
term in regards to the attempt by some to control the Internet and the users of the
Internet. Yes guidelines are necessary to insure the Internet functions well, but
ICANN so far has bowed to interests that want far more than guidelines. They wish
to promote a heavily regulated Internet which threatens the very nature of the Internet
itself. Freedom allowed for the creation of the technology and concept from the very
beginning. To allow large corporate interests to stifle that freedom now is a travesty
of justice. With the Internet for the first time since the Industrial Revolution,
the average human being regardless of race, religion, or economic background was
given the chance to compete on a level playing field with major corporations. With
the misapplication of Intellectual property Law and the creation of an organization,
(ICANN) that only has representatives for Large Corporate Interests threatens to
kill off this ability for the average user. Something I for one do not wish to see."
ICANN recently approved the addition of seven new suffixes to be used as generic
TLDs on the authoritative root. These are: .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum,
.name and .pro. ICANN’s first priority in assessing the proposal to operate
new top-level domains was the preservation of the stability of the Internet.
ICANN’s assessment included a review of the prospects for continued and unimpaired
operation of the TLD in compliance with technical requirements and with minimal outages
or other technical difficulties.
From NameCritic; "But chose to implement
TLDs that are redundant and unnecessary. Why would the Airlines need their own root
was recently asked in a forum. That is the understanding here. Dot Coop? C'mon, how
many users did that one satisfy out of the millions of users on the Internet? What
percentage of users breathed a sigh of relief that they approved that one? Dot Info
is generic and redundant to .org and soewhat even to .com. It might be okay if there
hadn't already been a .info that existed prior to approving it. Dot Museum? Why?
Fewer people are happy with that one than .coop. Dot Name isn't any conflict to anyone,
but much better options were available. And that brings up Dot Pro. .com covers them
already and again it is redundant and selective. Only two types of professionals
are allowed to file domain names in this TLD. Why are certain industries being afforded
special treatment over others. One can only assume it is due to their representation
within ICANN and the DNSO. I notice the lawyers of the Intellectual Property Constituency
got their own TLD now. Then there is the case of dot biz. For a group that thinks
corporations "First Use" rights apply to everything and outweighs all other rights
combined ICANN was sure quick to find that it did not apply to the existing dot biz.
It's awfully convenient when you can apply laws where and when you see fit and not
use them when it isn't to your advantage to do so. The above New TLDs also show how
US Centric ICANN is in violation of their own bylaws. What is .museum in japenese
anyway? What is .pro in Russian? We know that "BIZ" in England means to go do your
biz, in other words go to the bathroom for a #2. Why weren't more international issues
considered when approving new TLDs. Those close to ICANN wonder why the other countries
get the idea that ICANN only represents US interests. It's no wonder when looking
at the decisions being made by the ICANN BoD."
ICANN’s Decision to Expand the gTLDs to Include .Biz Has Not Taken Away Business
On the Alternate Roots
One of the new suffixes, .biz, has been used by the
alternate roots. The Atlantic Root Network (“ARN”) has complained that the
use of .biz on the authoritative root essentially takes away its business.
This argument is wrong both factually and legally.
From NameCritic; "Again a
false and misleading statement. When TM Holders make claims of TM infringement by
the filing of similar domain names, WIPO and the courts have found that possible
FUTURE infringements are grounds to transfer a domain name to the TM Holder. The
same principle applied here is the possible future inclusion planned for by the current
TLD owner of .biz IS threatened and in effect stopped by the approval of another
company to manage a TLD that is already in operation. This statement wouldn't be
due to self interests would it? Mine is not since I have no affiliation with any
TLDs in any root system but am just a user that is tired of seeing a few good ol
boys step on people's rights the way they have been since ICANN's inception."
First, with respect to the facts, the Atlantic Root can continue its business
on the alternate root because ICANN’s decision relates only to the authoritative
root. While ARN will not have the ability to use the .biz TLD on the authoritative
root server, it cannot do so now, so the status quo is preserved. Notably,
the Atlantic Root Network had the opportunity to apply to operate the new .biz domain
on the authoritative root and chose not to do so. It chose to remain an operator
on its alternative root and can continue to do so. There can be no legal “taking”
under United States law, where the business will continue to operate. At best,
Atlantic Root complains of a possible, future disparate impact on its business.
However, in a wide variety of contexts the United States government executes laws
or programs that may have comparable consequences and such actions never constitute
From NameCritic; "At least you state here a respect for the facts
even though you choose to ignore them. Making the application fee $50,000 is just
one more way to discourage participation by some so that others can steal what is
rightfully theirs. The fact they did not give ICANN $50,000 with no guarantee of
approval and a prior indication they would not be approved in my book makes them
smart enough to know better. The only thing it would have accomplished is to put
them in the same position they are now in, $50,000 poorer as is the case with many
others who did apply and were not given enough time to prepare their applications.
How much time was your company given?"
Moreover, the companies that have registered
names on the Atlantic Root know that those names do not exist on the authoritative
root and have no reasonable expectation that they can be used on that root.
They specifically contracted to have names to be used on the alternate root and knew
or should have known that someday those names might be overlapped on the main authoritative
root server. Indeed, Atlantic Root's web site contains a disclaimer to this
very effect, warning potential registrants of possible future collisions, and therefore
putting those companies/registrants on notice:
Registrant acknowledges that
ICANN has accepted applications for several new TLDs and that included in those applications
is .BIZ. Atlantic Root Network, Inc.tm has NOT applied to ICANN and has no intention
of doing so at this time. If .BIZ is chosen by ICANN and delegated to a different
registry administrator, we do not know how it might effect the BIZtld registry'stm
domains. Therefore, registrant agrees that there is no guarantee that there will
not be a colliding TLD issue which may not be resolved in registrant's favor. In
that case, .BIZ domain names may no longer resolve. Registrant holds AtlanticRoot
Network, Inc. and PacificRoot harmless in any situation regarding a colliding TLD
which might result in their .BIZ domain no longer resolving in the domain name space.
Registration of domain names is a service. Fees are NOT REFUNDABLE.
"A disclaimer required by any reasonable attorney. You should know that. The out
of context and inflammatory way in which you point reference to this is contemptable
at best and shows the writer is not interested in fair play, but interested in convincing
people to give this company what it wants regardless of any rights violated by that
The argument that the alternate root is losing some legitimate business
interest is further belied by the fact that the names registered on the alternate
root often ignore the rights of intellectual property owners and, thus, could not
be used on the authoritative root. Indeed, these alternate roots appear to
be havens for cybersquatters. For example, “aol.biz”, “yahoo.biz”, “cocacola.biz”
are already registered in Atlantic Root’s .biz registry, and appear not to be registered
to the legitimate trademark owners. Leah Gallegos, the President of the Atlantic
Root Network and probably the most vocal advocate of the positions taken by the alternate
roots, has herself registered wipo.biz, oracle.biz, and gap.biz. Similar
.biz registrations in Atlantic Root include:
Registered by Trond Atle Skarling, Norway
Registered by dotBIZ,
James Rezzino, Old Forge PA
Registered by dotBIZ, James Rezzino, Old Forge PA
Registered by Trond Atle Skarling, Norway
Registered by Hatchers Investments
pty ltd, Australia
Registered by DomainInvest.com, Norway
Registered by Trond Skarning, Norway
Registered by Net Step,
Sam Middelstaedt, Stanwood WA
There simply can be no reasonable expectation
that such names could be used on the authoritative root.
From NameCritic; "First
I was under the assumption you were the Attorney for Neulevel, not these companies.
There is a dispute resolution policy to deal with these issues. It is up to the holder
of the TMs to use that policy to handle any dispute they have with the holders of
those domains. This is not a forum to discuss the UDRP and you do not speak for any
of those companies. Again inflammatory and irrelevant to the discussion. Clearly
another diversionary tactic to try to make people see your side as the only right
side in this issue. What domain names may or may not be in compliance with has no
bearing on ICANN's Bylaws or decisions with regard to repeating this potential collider
TLD. If .biz is repeated against the best interests of a cooperative Internet it
is a much worse violation than any of those domain names. It's a much larger issue.
It proves to the average user that ICANN has no interest in forming a bottom up consensus
on issues and is not interested in cooperative efforts and is not interested in the
stability of the Internet. All against the bylaws by which ICANN is supposed to operate.
The ICANN BoD should watch it's decision very carefully in regards to going against
it's own bylaws. The repercussions of this are very drastic."
Can Be No “Taking” Where There Are No Legitimate Property Rights
It is axiomatic
that there can be no “taking” without the prior existence of a property right.
The Atlantic Root Network never acquired property rights to support a claim that
their business would somehow be injured. Significantly, no intellectual property
right is infringed by the allocation of the .biz TLD or the maintenance of a .biz
registry on the public root. Generic top- level domains are not and cannot
be “property”. Top-level domains designate a particular user space on the
Internet, .com for commercial enterprises, .biz for businesses, and .org for organizations,
and are thus generic terms that inherently cannot function as trademarks.
TLDs were created for no other purpose than to order and organize the World Wide
Web. No intellectual property right is therefore infringed by the allocation
of the .biz TLD or the maintenance of a .biz registry on the public root. To treat
a TLD as property would violate well established intellectual property law.
NameCritic; "When they filed a Trademark on the name BIZtld registry's tm Did it
indicate they had not tried to protect their rights to operate just what the name
says? To the best of their ability they have shown due diligence in protecting their
brand. No you cannot trademark what is after the dot as they say, but they do have
a TM on a company described as a company registering domain names in that TLD. Close
enough to infringement if you ask me to duplicate their effort. Any person with any
common sense or sense of what is right or wrong can see the attempt to steal this
from the originator is blatently wrong and to try and defend this action citing technicalities
and excuses shows total contempt for anything just."
Indeed, this was most recently
confirmed when another alternate root registry attempted to prevent the establishment
of competing roots by asserting intellectual property rights in a top level domain,
“.web.” In 1999, Image Online Design, Inc. (“Image”), who purported to operate
a registry for a .web TLD on an alternate root, filed a trademark infringement and
unfair competition action against another root service asserting proprietary rights
in the .web TLD. “.Web” has never been approved by ICANN as a TLD on the public
root. The Court refused to acknowledge trademark rights in .web, noting that
it simply did not indicate the source of the registry services at issue.
The Court went further to note that .web was generic, and thus inherently incapable
of trademark protection, because it told Internet users that the web site was related
to the World Wide Web. Any other ruling would have been a significant departure
from established law.
From NameCritic; "Since the TLD Dot Web was not duplicated
by ICANN, this is not even a proper citation of prior case law and has no place in
this argument at all. ICANN did not approve a lot of applications. That being compared
to duplicating an existing TLD and effectly quashing any future business hopes of
an existing business is apples to oranges and again a flagrant attempt to distract
readers from the facts."
Thus, like Image, the Atlantic Root Network cannot
assert that because it began registering .biz names several years ago, that it has
the exclusive right to continue to do so in the future. Atlantic Root has no
property right in the .biz TLD and thus no right has been taken.
NameCritic; "In every law there are technicalities but there is also the spirit of
the law to consider. The spirit of TM Law is to protect those who have "First Use
Rights" regardless of whether or not they have filed an actual Trademark application.
That applies in this case. Also there is history in the creation of the Internet
that allows for the assumption that if you did it first, then no one will come along
and duplicate it without your cooperation. That is how things began and how many
still operate. Obviously this company is not one that has a policy of that type of
cooperation that allowed the Internet to come this far. The Internet has always been
a cooperative effort. The stability of the Internet today is a result of that cooperation.
Duplicating the dot biz tld sets a precedent that will do more to damage the stability
of the Internet than anything else ICANN has done so far. ICANN is seen as the lead
policy-setter. By approving a potential collider depending on the technology that
gets developed and by duplicating the efforts of others they allow for other companies
and root operators to follow their lead and cause more problems than you can obviously
Nor can a TLD be copyrighted. The copyright, a right that protects
original works or authorship, does not extend to individual words or short phrases.
Thus, as a matter of intellectual property law, TLDs are not protected from copying
by others. 
From NameCritic; "Again you continue to cite technicalities
that may or may not hold up in a court of law. It defies the spirit of protecting
"First Use Rights" and goes against every principle the Internet is founded on. Yet
you defend your position here as right when clearly it is self-serving and only YOUR
interpretation of the law and since you are obviously employed by those who will
benefit through the theft of work others have done, your word must be taken only
as the mouth piece for those you represent. Your post is not unbiased or objective
in the least."
A more general misappropriation argument by ARN is also unwarranted
under well established law. A wrongful appropriation of property is an essential
element to a misappropriation claim and, as noted above, there is no property right
in a TLD. The process of allocating the .biz TLD and the maintenance
of the .biz TLD on the public root does not and will not appropriate any data, database,
technology, or IP addresses of any alternate root system. The new TLDs will
be implemented with the technology and resources and according to the business models
of the new TLD registries, all of which were examined and approved by ICANN in a
From NameCritic; "Getting repetitive."
The ICANN Process for Awarding New gTLDs Was Fair
Finally, to suggest as Atlantic
Root has that its business has been taken by an arbitrary process rings hollow.
ICANN's selection of the new TLDs is a significant step towards the expansion and
strengthening of the Internet, which is ICANN’s mission and purpose under its contract
with the Department of Commerce. See Memorandum of Understanding between the
U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN, dated November 25, 1998. ICANN selected
the new TLDs only after a comprehensive process that afforded all interested and
affected parties the opportunity to be heard. Indeed, contrary to some of the
recent criticisms of the selection process, ICANN was more accommodating and open
to public comment than was required. Notably, as a private, non-profit corporation
acting in a technical "standard setting" capacity, ICANN is not subject to the strict
rulemaking guidelines required of government agencies. Moreover, to the extent
that ICANN can be considered to be acting on behalf of the Department of Commerce,
and in accordance with the terms of its Memorandum of Understanding, the "public
contracts" exception to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) would apply.
See 5 U.S.C.A. 553(a)(2). Consequently, ICANN – and indeed the Department of
Commerce, when acting to adopt ICANN's recommendations – would be exempted from the
specific notice and comment provisions of the APA.
From NameCritic; "Of
course you believe the process was fair. Your company benefitted from the process.
Those whose applications were not approved however do not share your enthusiasm.
This is normal behavior when there are winners and losers, however, the real losers
are the average users of the Internet when ICANN acts in such a Non-Transparent way
in violation of their own bylaws. Oh and isn't it nice of you to point out the APA
which was ignored and your offer, excuse, and explanation on why it was ok since
of course in the case where it benefits certain people and corporations there is
an exemption that can apply."
ICANN seeks to reflect the functional and geographic
diversity of the Internet and its users. The process for selection of the new
gTLD reflected ICANN’s goals to be fully representative, to support competition and
to involve bottom-up consensus building. The alternate roots, on the other
hand, criticize the process when, in fact, they are motivated purely by self-interested
business motives. The decision by ICANN to introduce the new gTLDs was made
after many committees addressed the issues of whether and how to introduce the new
gTLDs, a public comment period and careful review and evaluation by supporting organizations.
It is simply disingenuous for self-interested alternate root providers to suggest
the process was unfair particularly since their goal is to protect their individual
From NameCritic; "This is hilarious! You accuse them of
being motivated purely by self-interested business motives for defending something
they used first, yet claim you are not motivated by the very same thing when taking
it away from them. None of the above statement is anywhere close to what actually
occurred. Anyone who witnessed the farce you call support of competition, bottom
up consensus building, a public comment period that was way too short for any widespread
involvement, and careful review and evaluation knows that none of what you claim
happened did happen."
Policy Concerns Related to the Recognition of Alternate Roots
There are several
important policy reasons for a single, unique root.
First, the legal analysis
described above is crucial because it protects the functionality of the Internet.
Without that protection, a recognized unique root, such as the authoritative root,
and a designated process for populating that root with additional TLDs, the Internet
would quickly become dysfunctional with a proliferation of competing and conflicting
TLDs. This is because alternate roots would succeed in establishing protected
property rights that would hinder reliable operation of the Internet.
argue that the alternate roots must not be recognized to avoid confusion in the DNS
space. Indeed, that has been the position of the Internet Architecture Board
(the “IAB”) which oversees critical technical and administrative functions relating
to administration of the Internet, including the Internet Engineering Task Force
(“IETF”) which establishes the technical protocols for operation of the Internet.
In its oversight capacity, the IAB released the “IAB Technical Comment on the Unique
DNS Root” which was published in May 2000. Summarized, this statement provides that
to remain a functioning global network, the Internet requires the existence of a
single globally unique public name space. As IAB notes:
deploying multiple public DNS roots would raise a very strong possibility that users
of different ISPs who click on the same link on a web page could end up at different
destinations, against the will of the web page designers.
This does not preclude
private networks from operating their own private name spaces, but if they wish to
make use of names uniquely defined for the global Internet, they have to fetch that
information from the global DNS naming hierarchy, and in particular from the coordinated
root servers of the global DNS naming hierarchy.
This statement provides
the basic argument in support of a single unique global root such as the root operated
by ICANN. Like the telephone system where duplicate area codes would create
havoc in the public switched network, alternate roots can generate significant consumer
confusion and Internet instability.
The issue of Internet stability aside,
other important policy grounds argue against the public recognition of alternate
· If alternate roots are recognized, anyone
then could establish an alternate root and not be subject to the bottom-up consensus-building
and international decision-making that was established through ICANN. The alternate
root could be free from any sort of dispute resolution policy or any type of registry
or registrar license meant to protect consumers and businesses.
The potential for fraudulent activity is also high as “spoof” websites
could be established solely to confuse consumers into believing that they are visiting
the authorized Web site. Allowing alternate roots to be recognized undercuts
this authority and severely limits the ability to take action against fraudulent
or criminal activity occurring on alternate roots.
If an IP owner determines that registrations infringe upon its rights, that legitimate
owner may have little recourse outside of the courts to challenge the use of a given
name. Under the existing procedures established through the international consensus
process, the UDRP was created to provide an inexpensive alternative to litigation.
Alternate roots typically do not adhere to these procedures.
In addition, names in the alternate roots typically are not sold through
separate registrars. Thus, like Network Solutions in its early days, they often
operate as virtual monopolies by acting as both the registry and the registrar.
Thus, they reap all the benefits without adhering to any of ICANN’s well-established
principles or providing choices to the Internet consumer.
The ICANN process, including any reformed process, would be frustrated because
a large proportion of the valuable TLDs that could be selected by ICANN likely reside
in some alternate root (there are hundreds of TLDs within the alternate roots – e.g.
.biz, .web, .xxx, .sex, .kids, .news, .lib, .law, .k12, .USA – to name only a few).
Thus, formally recognizing the alternate roots would mean ICANN likely could never
add another good TLD to its own root unless it allowed the alternate root operator
to insert its registrations, which often are cybersquatting registrations, into the
new ICANN TLD. Moreover, because there is no necessary process for forming
a new alternate root, and because the ICANN process is entirely open, TLD squatters
could hold the ICANN process hostage by establishing new alternate roots as soon
as they are identified in ICANN applications.
DNS services have become critical elements of the Internet. Although, as a
technical matter, many TLDs arguably can easily be added to the Internet without
technical mishap, the failure of a registry operator after its registrants have invested
significant resources in establishing its domain presence could have a catastrophic
effect on the Internet economy. Many alternate roots are not sufficiently funded
to take on the task of managing mission critical infrastructure. Thus, turning
over the mission critical DNS to alternate roots could jeopardize the stability of
The alternate roots have chosen to operate separate and apart from the public
root system, and do not have any property right in any TLD that is recognized under
existing law. Moreover, those who wished to be considered as candidates to
operate a new ICANN chosen TLD, participated in ICANN’s selection process.
This process was public, fair, and comprehensive. The complaints raised by
the alternate roots, who chose not to participate, should not be considered now,
especially since they have no legal merit.
From NameCritic; "By your
own quote of the provisions that the BIZTLD Registry includes in their agreement
you prove they planned to be included in the ONE root system and had no plans to
attempt to keep .biz outside of the legacy root. It clearly states that ICANN may
not choose to include them, therefore your inclusion of an argument against having
multiple roots supported bears no weight on the dot biz issue and again seems to
be another diversionary tactic and one that would make some readers relate the existing
.biz to some outlaw organization. This I consider a contemptable way to attempt to
prove your point, but I also sympathize since misinforming others and stretching
the truth and insinuations and accusations are the only avenues left to someone with
no real substance behind their argument. But I can't help but think after reading
your statements here that those methods are ones you feel very comfortable with and
are very familiar with."
From NameCritic; "The bottom line is someone was already
using it. Only cooperation will add to the stability of the Internet. Purposely creating
conflicts in this manner are not the way to insure the future stability of the Internet.
ICANN needs to garner more public opinion before making decisions that affect users
worldwide. Individual Users deserve representation. Since there is a Constituency
to Represent TM Holders seperate from the one that represents businesses, (The same
people with 2 sets of votes), and considering the WIPO finds FOR the TM Holders in
over 80% of cases against Domain Name Holders, Then Domain Name Holders ALSO need
to have some representation within the DNSO. To have something called the Domain
NameSupporting Organization, but NOT have a Domain Name Holder's Constituency is
obviously weighted in the favor of large corporate interests and seems ridiculous
given the nature of what the DNSO is."
From NameCritic; "Those are facts. They
are stated by one that will in no way benefit from the inclusion of tlds either made
up in the future or ones that exist now in cooperative and inclusive root systems.
I manage or own NO TLDs or Roots. I own some domain names that are generic and all
in the dot com tld. I also am Executive Director of an organization called The KidSearch
Network that finds missing children and don't have a missing child myself. I am just
someone who would like to see right triumph over might."
Chris McElroy AKA
Past Participant in the WG-Review
Participant in the General Assembly
Of an Individual's Constituency
Supporter of an Individual Domain Name Holder's
Against Corporate control of the Internet and lack of representation
for the Users of the Internet within the ICANN and DNSO
Penn Central Transportation, Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104 (1978).
WIPO is the World Intellectual Property Organization.
 For example, the U.S.
Patent and Trademark Office policy states that “Generic tlds are designated
for use by the public.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will accordingly
refuse registration of a tld for “domain name registry services” under 15 U.S.C.
§ 1051 as a designation incapable of functioning as a trademark. Examination
Guide No. 2-99 (September 29, 1999).
 Singer Mfg. Co. v. June Mfg. Co., 164
U.S. 169, 41 L.Ed 118, 16 S. Ct. 1002 (1896) (generic terms are in the public domain,
free for all to use); Abercrombie & Fitch Co. v. Hunting World, Inc. 537 F.2d
4, 189 U.S.P.Q. 759, 769 (2d Cir. 1976) (to protect a generic name would be to confer
a monopoly in the sale of the named product); Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition,
Section 15, comment a (1995) ("Generic designations are not subject to appropriation
as trademarks at common law and are ineligible for registration under state and federal
 Image Online Design, Inc., v. Core Association, 120 F.Supp.2d
870 (C.D. Ca. 2000).
 The main reason TLD’s are not copied is because the Internet
could not function smoothly with identical TLD’s on the same root.
 While Atlantic
Root argues that the Memorandum of Understanding between ICANN and the Department
of Commerce specifically provides that the process not be “arbitrary,” the process
was not arbitrary and Atlantic Root could never sustain the extraordinarily high
burden it would have to meet to establish that it was a third party beneficiary to
a government contract. See Moore v. Gaither, 767 A.2d 278, 287 (D.C. 2001) (ruling
that third party beneficiary of a government contract is generally assumed to be
merely an incidental benficiary); see also, Iacampo v. Hasbro, 929 F. Supp. 562,
580 (D.R.I. 1996) (requiring plaintiff to meet a "heightened standard" in order to
assert rights under a government contract) (emphasis added).