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Username: Garry Anderson
Date/Time: Tue, March 5, 2002 at 3:56 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Vinton Cerf on trademarks, "We screwed up--"


Thursday, January 29, 1998, 11:10 a.m. ET.; updated January 30 

Capitol Hill Panel Discusses Internet Issues


At Wednesday's panel, Vinton Cerf, MCI's senior vice pres ident of Internet Architecture and Engineering, praised Magaziner's efforts, adding that satisfying the needs of all stakeholders in the issue is extremely complex.

"With respect for creating more domain names, the strongest arguments against that come from trademark community," Cerf said. "I have a technical observation. We screwed up--and that's a technical term--by allowing the URL that contains the domain name to be so visible and has led industry to believe that the only way to make products and services visible to the community. We don't need to do that."

Instead, Cerf said trademark names should be listed in registries that list multiple trademarks so users can look up the name and find information about the type of business and the location of the trademark holder.

"The URL that creates the link doesn't have to have the trademark in the name at all, it's not technically necessary," Cerf said. "All we have to do is start creating services that register trademarks in directories and let people lo ok them up. That doesn't require legislation."

Cerf's comments came just two days before the Clinton administration released its proposal to privatize the domain name system over the next two years and add five new top-level domain names.

If URLs were not able to be trademark specific, Cerf maintains there would be no domain name problem. "The uniqueness of a company name is not the issue. It is the conflict between the domain name system design, which insists on uniqueness, and the trademark system, which insists on non-uniqueness, that creates the problem," Cerf said.

"So we solve the problem by separating those two out and let people have multiple trademarks." Just have them have domain names and don't use their trademark for it. That's it."

Vint says, it is "the trademark system, which insists on non-uniqueness, that creates the problem,"

HE IS WRONG - a trademark has to be unique - or else it is declared invalid.


A trade mark may be declared invalid on the grounds that either:
it was registered in breach of Section 3 of the 1994 Trade Marks Act, i.e. absolute grounds, e.g. due to a lack of distinctiveness in the mark

This uniqueness consists of name, classification and country.


a. Every dictionary word is trademarked
b. Trademarks 'raison d'Ítre' - to identify source
c. Basic tenet of trademark law - protect consumers and trademark owners from confusion in the marketplace
d. Free speech issues
e. To guarantee source
f. For the proper use of trademarks - to give warning, to advise the public that the mark is registered.

Something should be used to replace the RTM on the Internet. A new TLD of .REG will satisfy that requirement.

US DOC, UN WIPO and ICANN know all this.


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