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Username: mattdm
Date/Time: Thu, March 1, 2001 at 8:51 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V5.0 using XWindows/Linux 2.2.16-3 (Pentium Pro)
Score: 5
Subject: trademarks


"Trademarks aside" is too strong of a qualifier. Trademark protection
isn't nearly as broad as people seem to assume. It's restricted by
geography and by type of thing you are selling. (That's right; if
you're not selling, trademark law isn't relevant.) The .com/.org./.net
TLDs are neither geographically limited nor linked to any class of
goods or services. Therefore, a generic domain should not in itself be
able to violate trademark. That is, if you have trademark "Foo" for
your brand of widgets, someone else could also use "Foo" for something
completely unrelated. "" isn't intrinsicly linked to *either*
class (and might not even be related to the country in which the
trademarks are held) and therefore can't, in itself, be a violation.

It's worth considering that EVERY SINGLE LETTER of the Roman alphabet
is someone's trademark. There's barely any common words left that
aren't trademarked.

(Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer. But I hate to see entire words being
stolen out of our language just because someone sticks a TM by them.)


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