ICANN to allow commercial gTLDs

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat Jun 18 03:24:37 CDT 2011


On Jun 17, 2011, at 8:39 PM, Jay Ashworth wrote:

> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Owen DeLong" <owen at delong.com>
> 
>> MacDonald's would likely get title to .macdonalds under the new rules,
>> right?
>> 
>> Well... Which MacDonald's?
>> 
>> 1. The fast food chain
>> 2. O.C. MacDonald's Plumbing Supply
>> 3. MacDonald and Sons Paving Systems
>> 4. MacDonald and Madison Supply Company
>> 5. etc.
>> 
>> All of them have legitimate non-conflicting trademarks on the name MacDonald's
>> (or at least could, I admit I made some of them up). I said when this mess
>> first started that mapping trademarks to DNS would only lead to dysfunction.
>> It did. Now the dysfunction is becoming all-encompassing. It will be 
>> interesting to watch the worlds IP lawyers (IP as in Intellectual Property,
>> not Internet Protocol)
>> eat their young over these issues for the next several decades.
> 
> Indeed.
> 
> It's actually "McDonalds", of course, and the US trademark law system has
> a provision for "famous" marks.  I don't recall what the rules are, but 
> once they've decide your mark is "famous", then it no longer competes only
> in its own line-of-business category; *no one* can register a new mark in 
> any category using your word.
> 

While that is true, there are several McDonalds registered in various spaces
that actually predate even the existance of Mr. Crok's famous burger joints.

> Coca-Cola, Sony, and I think Kodak, are the canonical examples of a
> famous mark.
> 

Let us not also forget the over-extension of that situation, as applied to Jell-O
where there are now very bizarre rules about who can and can't refer to just
any gelatine dessert as Jell-O.

Owen





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