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Username: daveking2
Date/Time: Sat, September 22, 2001 at 4:34 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows NT 5.0
Subject: .BIZ fraudsters don't have to provide trademark proof


Is my understanding correct? In Neulevel's STOP procedure (where so-called IP owners can challenge the successful registrant), the onus is totally on the priority Challenger (who as I've noticed, often do NOT own the trademarks they're claiming) to show that the successful registrant (the respondent/person being challenged) is not deserving of the name.

However, the respondent is not given the opportunity to show that the challenger has claimed a trademark to which they are not entitled!

Furthermore, under Neulevels' rules, the Challenger does not even have to prove  - with documentation - that they have rights to the name. They just have to explain why they have rights to the name. At least with Afilias' Challenge procedure, both parties have to show documentation.

Can I ask what the good of this is? As far as I can see, it's legitimising fraudulent IP claims through a very biased (towards the Challenger) process. OK, I understand that the respondent can argue that s/he's not infringing on the TM rights (especially if it's a generic name), but what's stopping the challenger from out-and-out saying "we have owned this TM since the year dot" and if they don't have to provide documentation, then how can this be verified ?

Am I the only one who thinks this seems a little silly? The only saving grace is that at least respondents don't have to pay to defend themselves. Hopefully, the arbitration bodies will have the common sense and intelligence to distinguish between legitimate claims to generic names, and real trademarks where 'passing off' is a lot more clear-cut.

(Ho boy, here come the CAT & COKE brigade again ... !)

Interested in your opinions.



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