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Username: Watchman
Date/Time: Mon, October 22, 2001 at 8:57 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows NT 5.0
Subject: Pretty's the deal


        A misconception is that there's such thing as a generic word that isn't or can't be trademarked.  If you search the US Patent Office online database, you'll find a trademark on almost any common word.  Trademark has alot to do with how the word is used.  A trademark is a specific usage, likewhen used with a logo, or in a particular field.  That's how the football team trademarked the word "Dolphins" - because that's their name, used in a specific way and often with a logo.  If someone's using a name in a field, and no one else in the field is using it, you could probably register a trademark.  Like Microsoft's trademark on "windows".  That also means many people in the same country can have a trademark on the same word, as long as each is using it differently. 

With URLs, only one person can own a word.  And all you have to work with are letters and numbers, no logos or context.  And every country has different trademark laws.  The internet is global, so no country's trademark is better than another. And it means that among all the countries, there are hundreds of thousands or more people who were eligible for Sunrise names.  You start to see the complications.

It also means that there were a ton of trademark ownders out there who didn't register their names in afilias sunrise.  So all those names were available to get in landrush.  I got a good one, and when the company who shoula gotten it realizes they are going to kick themselves, yeh!

The whole sunrise thing is a big compromise.  On one hand it makes sense for trademark owners to get first shot at their trademarks - they can at least prove they have a legal claim, which is a place to start.  I think people got tired of sorting out who owned .com names, when some were misused.  On the other hand, it meant some good "generic" names would be taken by companies and out of the reach of ordinary people.  Some people think the assumptions that sunrise was based on are fair, some don't.  When people went for names they definitely had no legal claim over, it sure made a bigger mess.


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