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||Fri, January 4, 2002 at 9:53 PM GMT
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This was my interpretation also. In its policy, Afilias do not restrict successful
registrants from transfering names to any other party *after* the challenge period
or when all challenges for that domain have been processed. To do so would restrict
free trade and undermine the effectiveness of the TLD; it would be bad for Afilias'
business if the deepest pocketed companies couldn't buy and develop sites for .info
domains, thus prevening other net users from viewing .info domains as valuable domain
It still remains to be seen whether a trademark holder could successfully
challenge a domain for a common non-famous mark after the challenge period, based
on the fact that the successful sunrise registrant did not own a trademark. My opinion
is that the challenge would not be successful simply because common law trademark
rights cannot be superceded by Afilias' sunrise policy, which effectively amounts
to just a private contract between itself and the successful registrant. Instead
Afilias may evoke its challenge of last resort but as far as I could tell, this only
applies for domains registered after December 6, 2001 and the domain would have to
be challenged before Afilias unlocks the domain, allowing it to be transferred.
Afilias were to challenge the name after transfer, then the new owner would probably
have recourse from Afilias as the registrant-registry agreement would amount to a
new contract stating that the new registrant has rights to the name, whether the
new registrant owns a TM or not.