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Username: hitz
Date/Time: Fri, October 27, 2000 at 6:14 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.01 using Windows NT 5.0
Score: 5
Subject: Hmmmm


"It should be noted that all domain name registration activities involving the gTLD .web are on a preregistration basis only. Because .web is not an approved gTLD at this time, no domain names can be assigned with this gTLD. Plaintiff alleges that it has performed at least some of the above services in connection with .web since the fall of 1996."

"The Court recognizes that Image Online places a "™" after ".web" on its website and asserts that "all rights [are] reserved." However, Plaintiff cannot unilaterally confer upon itself valid trademark rights simply by asserting them. Presently .web is not a gTLD that can be used in commerce. No default server will recognize a website ending in .web. Plaintiff makes this fact very clear in its website. It states:

Please be aware that the process for addition to the root servers has been the subject of debate since 1995, and while the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has indicated that new top-level domains will be created, there is no guarantee as to the timetable and procedures for these additions. … [T]here is no way to anticipate how long ICANN will take to complete the process, what conditions will be imposed for entry into the root servers, and what procedure will be enacted for such entry. Any concern or doubt on your part as to this process should be taken into account before registering your domains in this registry …; your registration shows your support for both our claim, and the addition of new top-level domains.

The .Web Internet Domain Registry Information (visited May 30, 2000)

In essence, Plaintiff explains to its potential registrants that .web may be an upcoming gTLD and Image Online may be a registrar. Taken as a whole, the website does not indicate to a potential registrant that Image Online has exclusive registry rights of the .web TLD. It is unlikely that a potential registrant would see a domain name ending with .web in the near future, since no such domain name is recognized at this time. However, even if they were able to view other domain names that end in .web, given the website registration as it now stands, there is no reason that a potential registrant would think that all of those domain names were registered by a single source."

I'm no lawyer, but it seems clear from the judge's statement that he finds that IOD was never given permission to run the .web registry, and that all "registrations" are in fact "pre-registrations." Seems to me that it would be unlikely that a judge would get such major points wrong, even though these claims aren't really part of the lawsuit.

I understand that this case is on appeal, however the facts here are pretty clear. There is law and precident that supports the fact that a gTLD cannot be trademarked.


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