DNS: RE: The DNS regime.

DNS: RE: The DNS regime.

From: Mark Hughes <mhughes§ozemail.com.au>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 00:11:12 +1000

>Do you (plural) think the current rules for registration of domain names in
>Australia provide either a fair means of allocating domain names or a means
      >of avoiding disputes under trade marks or passing-off laws?

the issue of the DNS avoiding disputes under trademark or passing off laws
is a red herring.  Trademark owners do not 'own' names exclusively.

Coca-Cola has the right to use the name 'Coke'.  So does the 
company named 'Kembla Coal and Coke'.  McDonalds Family
Restaurants has the right to use the name McDonalds.  So does
McDonalds Plumbing.  So does McDonalds Pharmacy.  So do
thousands of people in Australia, and I guess a million in Scotland.

The trademarks system acknowledges that one company does not
own a name because it allows multiple companies to register the
same trademark in different categories.  Even if a company registered
a trademark in every single category, they would not 'own' the name,
and would have no legal right to prohibit other entities using the name,
as long as they did not infringe on the trademark or indulge in 'passing
off'.  Feel free to write and publish a book about McDonalds Family
Restaurants, or sing 'Old McDonald had a farm'.

So from the point of view of domain name registration, the first entity
to register the name 'McDonalds' is entitled to that name, if they meet
the criteria for the SLD.  As long as they are not passing off as another
entity, fine.  If they are, then they can expect to be hauled into court
by whoever they are copying.
If a court rules that company A is passing off as company B, the court
may well rule that company A may no longer use their domain name.
 That's covered in the ADNA policies for non-renewal/revocation of
a name.

Do a search of some common names on the ASC site and you'll see
what I mean.  No one - including Trademark owners - 'owns' exclusive
rights to names.  One of my continuing concerns is the attempt by
trademark owners to secure rights on the internet ('ownership' of a name)
that they don't have off the internet.  That's one of the reason's why I 
voted against allowing Trademarks as a criteria for a name in .com.au

I just don't see why some product names (trademarks) should be
allowed if other product names (non trademarked) aren't.

Regards, Mark
Received on Tue May 12 1998 - 01:27:22 UTC

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