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Username: arbitrage
Date/Time: Sun, December 2, 2001 at 11:49 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V6.0 using Windows 98
Subject: Two separate issues here...

Message:
 

 
       
      First, there is no law that prohibits Apple Computer from opening a division devoted to selling apples (the fruit). It would not affect their trademark rights to "Apple" in the computer class. They would have no federal trademark protection for their fruit business (in fact, it would be a poor choice of brands to use for fruit because anyone could copy it, since "apple" is a generic term for the fruit of the apple tree). But not illegal.

      Second, the Afilias sunrise rules only apply to the initial sunrise pre-registration of .INFO names, and have nothing to do with their future ongoing use. Assuming a valid trademark was used to obtain a .INFO name, the registrant is not restrained in the future use of the name by the fact that it was registered under the sunrise rules. So Apple Computer can use APPLE.INFO to sell apples, or it can sell the domain name to the Apple Growers of America, or lease it to Bob the Apple Farmer, without breaking any law, or violating any Afilias rule or policy.  The fact that the name will be used for a purpose unrelated to the trademark used to first register it is immaterial.

      You may find such behavior an abuse of trademark rights, but it is not illegal and doesn't break any Afilias or ICANN rule.  In my opinion it is the whole sunrise process that was flawed, in that it gave holders of registered trademarks rights above and beyond those normally associated with ownership of a trademark (like the right to
monopolize the use of a generic word).

 


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