Previously, Bill Caroselli @ Q-TPS wrote in qdn.public.qnxrtp.advocacy:
I believe that “Network Solutions” (one of the largest registrars of domain
names - whom I hate, BTW) plainly states that is there are trademark issues
that they need to be dealt with in the courts and not by them.
What I recall them saying was that if someone owned a domain
such as www.cocacola.com, and the Coca Cola company wanted
it, that it would be turned over without payment. I agree
that they would not want to be involved with the Apple
disputes that I described.
Of course that has nothing to do with the law, it’s just an indication that
anyone can register anything.
Well I may be wrong about this. Its not clear that courts would be
a reasonable place to deal with this anyway. For example, if I was
the registered owner of www.cocacola.com, and I simply pointed it
to a blank html page, it is unclear that I am in anyway infringing on
their trademark. Under what theory of law do you think I could
be forced to turn over the domain?
All things considered, I do believe that Rennie is correct and a contest in
court would easily be won by QNX. Also, I don’t think any of us wants
ill-will between our favorite software company and QNX.
While I agree that no one would want the ill-will, I think
the issue with QSSL is not clear. Trademark law is not
simple, but one of the guiding principles is whether any
alledged infringement is realistically confusing to the
customer. Do you think that QSSL could infer this from any
domain with the letters QNX in it, for exampe:
In my company name, Q-TPS, the ‘Q’ used to stand for something. I got a
friendly letter from QSSL’s legal department. I decided it wasn’t worth
fighting for. So now it’s just Q-TPS. Just don’t stick it in your ears.
Well I think if the ‘Q’ stood for “QNX” then they have a
pretty good infringement case. I think that it is
reasonable to assume that if you adverstized yourself in
this way that a consumer might mistake you for being part of
the QNX company. “QNX” being a clearly made up name has the
additional advantage of being a form of “strong” trademark.
Keep in mind here my central point which is that ownership
of a domain name does not by itself infringe on trademark.
This opened up the market for name grabbing and reselling,
which is why “Network Solutions” changed the rules. Of
course you may disagree with this.
Mitchell Schoenbrun --------- email@example.com