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having your domain name and eating it too.
Mr. Metcalfe -
Re: InfoWorld 1-11-99 column.
Most trademarks are defined only within a trade and a region.
A denture adhesive maker and harpoon maker can't sue each other
over the trademark "Accu-seal". A local restaurant in Illinois
can't sue another in New York over the trademark "Joe's Eats".
I expect international trademark law is even more ambiguous.
Domain names must be universally defined.
General enforcement of trademark law on domain names is impossible.
You described three philosophies that could hold sway in domain naming.
All three can, and probably should, be accommodated.
.www - a new top level domain for the internet anarchists.
Anything goes. These would be cheap, unless the one
you covet is held by a speculator.
.com - For international trademark lawyers to fight over.
These would be very expensive to pay for lawyer
overhead. Most of the existing ones would be removed
over time by legal attrition.
.?? - The country codes. Each country can handle trademark
issues as they see fit. "us" already has state and
locality sub domains. A "tm" sub domain at each level
would be a logical extension for regional trademarks.
A trademark used by more than one industry could be
split into trade sub domains, e.g.
If you are outside of a tm sub domain, you don't get to
over trademarks. Right now the US domains are more or
free, but I'm sure the lawyers can fix that.
.num - For people wanting stable indirection.
Meaningless domain names that no lawyers can fight over
that you don't have to change every time you rename your
business, change the scope of its operations, or move.
Public access would typically be via portals and search
engines. These would be dirt cheap.
Let the market decide the proportion of each that is useful.
- Rick Clark