DNS: Re: Trademarks and Categories

DNS: Re: Trademarks and Categories

From: Richard Archer <rha§interdomain.net.au>
Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 12:00:00 +1000
At 23:31 +1000 17/5/98, Adam Todd wrote:

>prince.3245.tm.au  (someone can look up the codes, it's been a long time
>since I've seen them) this allows prince.1256.tm.au also to be registered.
>But now we are back to Simon Higgs dream concept.  Perhaps I shoudl invite
>SImon to this mail list?  Any objections?

I have no idea who Simon Higgs is, but if he may have some useful things to
say with regards to DNS policy in Australia, Sure, bring him along!

>Simon can explain in great detail this process, sadly even I objected to
>the process as there would truely be millions of possible places to try and
>look.  But it's the ONLY possible answer.

Firstly, there's no such thing as one "only possible answer".

Secondly, the DNS is not a directory service.
The DNS is not a search engine.

As such, having millions of places to look for a domain is not a problem.
There are existing services (search engines) which address what you
perceive as a problem. Perhaps your opinion of search engines is coloured
by the fact that the .AUS domain is not accessible via the most popular
search engines.

What the DNS is, however, is a name<->number conversion system, which
allows humans to remember Internet addresses more easily (i.e. it allows us
to remember a mnemonic in the form of a name, rather than an abstract IP

My concern with the <name>.NN.tm.au format is that is only partially
fulfills the DNS' objective... that of replacing abstract numbers with

However the potential .TM.AU domain has some unusual requirements, it may
well be that having a numeric 3ld is necessary in this case.

Merging the current 40+ categories of trademarks into a single-level
namespace may be possible if there are only a very small number of
clashes across categories. But if this is not the case, or if there
is the potential for the number of such clashes to increase in future,
a single-level namespace should not be adopted at this time. It would be
at best unworkable and at worst potentially put .TM.AU domain name holders
in breach of the Trade Mark Act.

>Of course why not HAND TM.AU to the AIPO and let them worry about it?

Indeed. IP Australia own the Trade Marks database, and an argument could be
presented for them to maintain the .TM.AU registry. Indeed, as designated
administrators of the Trade Mark Act and Trade Mark Regulations,
IP Australia may be the only entity with a legal right to maintain the

This issue was discussed on this list in July 1997, but the discussion
was ended due to its non-relevance to the introduction of competition
within .COM.AU. At that time Geoff Huston wrote:

  >Trademarks are not unilateral - they are qualified by an activity
  >category, and are only unique within the nominated category.
  >What consideration has been given to ensuring that
  >a trademark-related domain does not itself become the
  >source of further name clashes and consequent dispute
  >where valid holders of the same mark in different
  >service categories both assert right to use <name>.tm.au?
  >Without such consideration included in the proposal I'd
  >certainly call this response a NOT "sufficiently favourable"
  >(Yes it is resolveable -
  >  - create 3lds with a 1:1 mapping to current service marks
  >  - place the domain user the auspices of AIPO, who adminster the
  >    Australian trademark space.

So far as I can see, the only changes since then are the name of the AIPO
and the amount of discussion on this list regarding .TM.AU.

Perhaps the next step here is for a representative of ADNA to contact IP
Australia and determine their views on this issue?

Perhaps a trademark lawyer could put forth an opinion on whether the owner
of a trademark "widget" in category 36 who subsequently registers the
domain name widget.tm.au would, by using that domain name, be violating
the rights of the trademark holder of "widget" in category 37.
My uninformed guess is that they would be. But IANAL.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Archer.
Received on Mon May 18 1998 - 12:38:09 UTC

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