NSI Domain Name Dispute Policy Statement

Carl Oppedahl carl at oppedahl.com
Thu Jun 20 14:07:39 UTC 1996

At 08:18 AM 06/20/96 -0500, E. Gregory Higgins wrote:

>Let me see if I understand the current intrepretation of
>paragraphs 6(c)(3) and 6(c)(4) of the NSI Domain Name Dispute
>Policy Statement:
>I can be using a domain name for years, but as long as someone somewhere
>in the world receives a trademark registration which claims a first use date
>prior to the day I first started using my domain, InterNIC will give
>them preference for my domain name and will forceably interrupt
>service to my self and others dependent upon the existance of my domain.
>Is this essentially correct?

Yes, that's essentially right.  See http://www.patents.com/nylj6.sht and
http://www.patents.com/pubs/nw1.sht .

And indeed even if you were able to prove to NSI that you weren't infringing
that trademark, it would be no defense.  Your domain name gets cut off in 30

But then read the policy even more closely, and you will see that actually
the dates don't matter.  Even if the trademark (from anywhere in the world)
is *newer* than your domain name, you still lose the domain name.
Interestingly, the time period is shorter:  14 days.  Here's how it works,
according to the NSI policy.  The trademark owner (TMO) sends the trademark
certificate to NSI.  Then NSI sends you an "indemnification agreement" (see
<http://www.patents.com/fogbelt/ia.sht>) to sign, stating that if you don't
sign it within 14 days NSI will cut off your domain name.  You show it to
your lawyer, your lawyer says "you can't sign this!".  14 days later, your
service (and that of others dependent on the domain name) is forceably

Carl Oppedahl, oppedahl at patents.com  Oppedahl & Larson, patent law firm
http://www.patents.com/ is a web server with frequently asked questions 
  and answers on patent law and other intellectual property subjects

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