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Username: fred48
Date/Time: Sun, August 26, 2001 at 3:48 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.0 using compatible; IDZap
Subject: Not Good Enough


Some people suggest that afilias is handling this the best way they can. I disagree. First of all, if you can't check all trademarks befoe issuing registrations, then you don't do a sunrise. Period. This problem should not even exist. You allow a special wipo period where people can challenge after a landrush. Of course, they could have set up the registrations process where the us, canadian and european community tm databases were checked with the registration numbers at a minimum which would have screened out many of the false applications. Then the other country applications could have been checked later. There are not billions of countries having tms of national effect. But this is not really relevant. If you cant do a sunrise period where tm claims can be verified before issuing a tm registration, then don't do it at all. And certainly don't do it if all there is to challenge it is for honest people to outlay $300! What a recipe for scandal. At least make there be a heavy fine for submitting a fake application.

Or, you require the submission of the trademark certificate which must be validated before registration. Some say that this would actually cost a little money or would be timeconsuming and arduous or even impossible. Well, the bare minimum of querying the major databases was possible yet not even this simple step was taken. In any case,  impossible or simple, if you cant do it, then you dont have a sunrise.

Why was it done? Some say just sheer stupidity. The stupidity in not realizing that when you hurt so many people by nulling  their landrush applications you develop an image problem. That simply stating, well, you knew it wasn't guaranteed so don't complain, was gonna make it go away. Yes, we knew it was not guaranteed, but to lose it because of a process which encouraged fraud by the registry itself in spite of them being warned and in spite of this potential problem being seen a mile away by anybody is a little different than Icann offing the extension or an earthquake. This was wholly preventable. Also, it is easy to see that afilias makes tons of money this way, and this alone will cause people to scrutinize the whole process further and now you have sites documenting unprecedented fraud. Some by registrars employees themselves! It was sheer stupidity to think that this process wouldnt end in scandal.

Others feel that it was part stupidity and part greed. There is a lot of money to be made by taking advantage of greedy fraudsters and by the honest public to make the challenges. 

The big problem here may not be the many registrants who registered so many fradulent tm names. The problem here is the amount of registrar and registrar employee fraud. This is very serious and I have a feeling that when the news media really starts to investigate this aspect of the fraud, we all might be interested in seeing where it leads.





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