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Arbitrary "Theft" of Web names
The recent misappropriation of a web name under the trademark
violation ruse highlights one of the major weaknesses of the existing
administration of webnames.(URLS).
My organization is of course in favor of companies with
Federally or internationally registered trademarks being able to maintain and
capture thatexact service or trademark as a URL, but only if it began that
process first. If someone else had a legitimate business or organization
under a similar or identical registered trademark, or had prior use in the
common law, and there was contention, the newcome to the net, in this case AOL,
should be required to pay market value for the site or find another name.
In the AOL case, the URL was not the registered trademark, so
the unilateral and arbitrary decision of Internic to change ownership was
inappropriate, highanded, and illegal. They should not have the power to
do this type of change until directed to do so by a Federal District Court, that
being the court with jurisdiction in trademark issues.
Michael Dean, Editor