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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.
                   versus restaurant.mcdonalds.tm.us
                   versus adhesive.accuseal.tm.ak.us

               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.
               e.g. b4235.a22.num.
               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