Test for "Generic" Words Under Former Policy

Test for "Generic" Words Under Former Policy

From: Patrick Corliss <patrick§quad.net.au>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 17:37:05 +1100
On Thu, 21 Mar 2002 12:59:00 +1100, Nathanael Boehm wrote:
Re: [DNS] Internet Registrations Australia

> But - why, how can NAB register something generic like "national" as a
> business?

Hi SnooP

There seems to be a lot of misinformation on this list and I suppose one way
to resolve such queries is to ask the DNS list.  However, I personally have
explained this point several times already and I'd appreciate at least a token

The simple truth is that the word "generic" itself is a misnomer or, at least,
its definition was not in accordance with a standard dictionary.  This system,
of defining words with a particular, specific meaning, is one frequently used
in science and elsewhere.

Broadly speaking, the specific definition of the word "generic" as used in the
policy had several components.

The first was that the word must be a normal word such as would be found in
the Macquarie Dictionary.  Clearly "national" satisfies that requirement.

The second was that the word must be one used in business, industry, commerce
or the professions.  The test here was that such a word would be found in the
Yellow Pages or some such commercial directory.  Thus, words like "audit" or
"butcher" would be rejected by Melbourne IT according to the specific
definition of "generic".

It would seem to me that a word such as "national" would be eligible for
registration as although it is a normal dictionary word (Test 1) it does not
have the required industrial or commercial significance (Test 2).

A third test, that the policy allowed the registration of multiple words like
"domain name" or "audit partner" is not relevant in this particular instance.

From memory, some words, such as "royal" or "olympic" were subject to a
special prohibition but I don't believe "national" was among them.

Clearly some domains are at the margins of this definition and this caused
some debate over registrations like "news.com.au" and "greengrocer.com.au".
As far as I can tell, "national" would be eligible for registration under the
former generic policy.

Patrick Corliss
I'm on the Board of auDA (the .au country code) as well as TLDA (the Top
Level Domain Association).   Please note that anything I write is my own
personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of any body
with which I am associated.  Please also note IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer).
Received on Fri Oct 03 2003 - 00:00:00 UTC

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