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According to a news story on ZD-net earlier this week, as much as 90% of all generic words in English have already been registered in the info-domain on the basis of trademarks, some of which are suspected not to exist. In a statement this week, Afilias [afilias.org] - the owner of the info-domain - has stated that they will challenge all registrations themselves, if they suspect that the trademark information supplied by registrants is not correct.
One such case might be the incredibly foresighted Bettina Sorensen of Vejle, Denmark who claims to have registered "Tourist" as a Danish trademark 100 years ago, on December 30 1899. As a consequence, she now owns the attractive domain Tourist.info. Ms Sorensen works for the Tourism Development Corporation of South East Jutland, but has registered the domain in her own name, giving the office as the billing address.
Afilias has recently opened a Whois service for the info-domain on their site, where everyone can check out who got lucky and who didn't. And perhaps amuse themselves by reading about the trademark registrations. I found the one for Suede quite interesting.
Funny, they couldn't register apple.info [afilias.info]
I understand that pre-registration offers no guarantee. The whole process seems a bit of a farce. I'd like a generic .info name myself, but I get the feeling that I've got no chance.
Have a look at the link for the apple registration above and you will see that Kia do have quoted the "Apple" trademark name. Perhaps a car or something? Although I would have thought that Apple as in the Computers would have had first crack at that one. Perhaps there is a bit of a lottary going on as well. Dunno.
I wonder about Orange, and Banana, and ...
Here it is, The AirPort is a wireless network product [apple.com]. Annother Apple innovation, co developped with Lucent. You can "connect" up to 10 computers in a 150 feet radius from this flying saucer, and bingo! Every one is networked and can surf the net at 11 megabits per second.
It is a big sucess for education and small business. As usual, the Wintel PC makers followed Apple in another innovation and the IEEE 802.11 Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) became a worldwide industry standard.
Stavs: The Sunrise period started on July 25 and ends on August 27. During this time you can register an info-domain on the basis of trademark ownership. (Trade marks must have been registered before Oct 1, 2000) The first come, first served rule applies. It is clear that this process is being abused on a grand scale and ICANN is not amused.
Anyone can challenge registrations through the aribitration procedure provided by WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization. The process is described in a press release from Afilias [afilias.info], the owner of the info-domain.
I just found out that the name for my own country in the local language and the name of its capital are registered trademarks in the Caribbean nation of St Kitts & Nevis, or so the owner of Sverige.info and Stockholm.info claims. And USA.info has been registered by a company in Long Beach on the basis of the US trademark "Expertinfo"(!). Don't ask me how that is possible. Webmaster.info is owned by Michael Griebl of Stutensee, Germany and Searchengine.info by Dan Kasal of Exton PA.
After a quiet period the "Land Rush" starts on September 12 and you are then free to register stavs.info, which is one of the few words still free.
Several of the authorized registrars are accepting pre-registrations in advance of the Land Rush period. Some want anywhere from $2 to $10 non-refundable for this service. I found only one that doesn't - DomainInfo.com. These pre-registrations will enter a round robin type lottery just before registrations are accepted in real time.
One such case might be the incredibly foresighted Bettina Sorensen of Vejle, Denmark who claims to have registered "Tourist" as a Danish trademark 100 years ago, on December 30 1899.<
Just in the news today in Denmark:
A danish registar has been filling false trademarks being able to register "generic" .INFO domains. As one should think the foresighted Bettina Sorensen couldn't possibly have registered a trademark a 100 years ago - she wasn't even born and the company didn't exist then.
They and some other danish companies have been scamed by the registar. They all have in common that they were in good faith when the registar proposed them the info domains. Now they might have to see copenhagen.info and forsikring.info (insurance) slip away.
The registar got caught because they have filled a lot of false trademarks. They have used non-excisting trademark numbers to get into the "Sunrise" period.
Sorry no references yet - just on the radio and in a danish newspaper.