Re: DNS: Re: Trademarks and Categories

Re: DNS: Re: Trademarks and Categories

From: Adam Todd <at§>
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 12:54:25 +1000
>>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!

This is one of the biggest problems with Australians. They don't learn by
the efforts of others.

Simon is one of many (of whom I'm also a participant of) a group of people
actively pushing forward the opening up of the Root Level Services in the
legacy servers to offer a better DNS management of COM, NET and ORG.

This process is much like what we want here in AU.  IN fact there is little
to no difference.

ADNA has modeled itself on the IAHC as a "good thing" but won't admit it,
because the IAHC has such a bad name and recognision now, it's, well ...

Then there are the Vic's and James' who are also pushing hard to get a
result that favours the ISP/Reseller.

Of course I'm playing the same field in both games. I'm just me, doing what
the majority are asking for.  The minority opposition is hardly worth the
effort and the silent factor (probably in all honest is the MAJORITY) don't
appear to mind either way.

>>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".

That is correct.  But in the case of Trademarks there is only ONE answer
because a trademark in Australia is registered by category, unlike the USA
where it's registered globally.

We MUST understand how Trademarks are used in AU before you can open a TLD
called TM.AU or, in all honest the REgistry will be sued to non existance -
and anyone along with it.

>Secondly, the DNS is not a directory service.

Spot on.  That's why using the category numbers in TM.AU to segment the
trademarks theoretically sounds like a great idea.  

Then the question comes to WHY THE HELL DO IT?  Why have:	(1234 being say the category number for telecoms)	(5678 being fast food)

(I'm not sure what the real category number are, these have been used as
examples only plucked frm my keyboard.)

>The DNS is not a search engine.

Exactly, and I can assure you searching thorugh 9999 categories will be
very painful.  So a Search engine is needed.

Something like

>As such, having millions of places to look for a domain is not a problem.

This is true.  Considering the alternative woudl be to find it by IP
address :)

>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.

No, not at all, I wouldn't have invested 2 years and hundreds of thousands
fo dollars developing a search engine to solve all these problems and
REMOVE the requirement for DNS if I didn't believe it to be a solution.

Please accept my appologies if you understood I was against a search engine
and appeared to be infavour of using DNS as the solution.  I AM NOT.

As much as I dislike LONG URL's caused by weird domain names, they are the
current method by which we access a web site.

If your interested you can beta test my new protocol which allows you to
enter an English string into your URL box, the resolver module actually
looks up the string and returns the correct location details.

"IBM Australia" when entered actually goes to  THi sisn't
based on the AU, it's based on the fact that the title of the IBM home page
for Australia is "IBM infromation in Australia."

>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

I did state this earlier, several hundred times in fact in the last 2 years.

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

:)  Exactly.  And that's why I rejected the option that Simon Higgs put
forward.  As much as it makes perfect sense, it's useless if you don't
change the way in which people currently use URLs and DNS.

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

It would be essential.  The trademark is registered by category.  McDonalds
is not registered in all categories.

Therefor McDonalds Plumbing could also register a trademark of "McDonalds"
quite legitimately as long as it didn't sell hamburgers with each plumbing

How then do you solve the problem of who has the rights to,
because legally BOTH would under the proposed rules.

I'd hate to fight McDonalds Family Retaurants joined with McDonalds
Plumbing and McDonalds Pharmacy and ....

>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.

There won't be.  There will be hundreds.

In which case if we are to allow registration of a trademark in to the DNS,
why not hand the whole process over to AIPO and let them by default
allocate the Domain Name?

I guess tha answer is no, because the ADNA REgistrars want to make PROFIT
from it, not give it away.

Personally if I'm approached to create TM.AUS, I'll be handing it over to

I don't want the legal responsibility.

>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.

Considering I'm the first to bring up the potential to clash, I must have
something valuable to add, thus perhaps more attention to someone who has
been extremely involved in DNS discussions for over 4 years should be
listened to because I've already seen many of the options.

If you like I'll post the 90 megs of historic discussion to you.  It makes
very interesting reading.  Particularly the part about the IAHC.

>It would be at best unworkable and at worst potentially put .TM.AU domain
>name holders in breach of the Trade Mark Act.

That is EXATCLY the problem on both counts.

If you intend using TM.AU as a protection of trademark, you:

1. Don't resovle the issue of the trademark being used in COM.AU or
anywhere else anyway,

2. Allowing it at the 3LD will only dilute the rights of others, some will
sue those who created the policy, not the holder of the name,

3. by using the category codes will make it impossible - as is currently
used as a search engine - to find the TM anyway.

So back to square one.

>>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

I wodul suspect this is correct.  They could of course just send someone
liek myself the list of names and categories and we'll load the data for a
small fee, but again, why bother?  Who is going to look for:

I'd be happier looking for "McDonalds Hamburgers"

>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.

Good to see Geoff noted such comments, mind you that was AFTER I said the
same things on a list in the United States when this exact discussion was
in progress there.  That was in April 1997, and earlier.  Perhaps I
inspired Geoff?

>  >Without such consideration included in the proposal I'd
>  >certainly call this response a NOT "sufficiently favourable"
>  >one.
>  >
>  >(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.

Yes, this is the only workable solution.  So in turn, we haven't solved a
damn thing, have we?

We haven't provided the protection the TM holders are calling for in
COM.AU.  In fact we can't do so, because again the trademark is allocated
on a category basis. ???

>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.

The amount has increased because everyone is runnig scared of Trademark
issues, either from the legal aspect or the aspect of it holding up

Has the AIPO changed name?  Is that why you called it IP Australia?  (I see!)

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

Hang on a sec.

ADNA has ZERO, NIL, NONE, ZAPO, ZILCH authoirty to contact anyone in
relation to AU name space.  That's Robert Elz's job.

>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 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.

There is a trademark Lawyer member of ADNA.  Amazing this person hasn't
spoken up.  Doesn't it make you curious?  Especially after the great things
I heard about this person from an observer.

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Received on Wed May 20 1998 - 20:18:00 UTC

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