Trademark Protection and Territoriality Challenges in a Global Economy
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Trademark Protection and Territoriality Challenges in a Global Economy

Edited by Irene Calboli and Edward Lee

As the modern business world becomes increasingly decentralized and globally focused, traditional interpretations and applications of trademark protection law are facing greater and greater challenges. This is particularly true regarding the principle of trademark territoriality, which holds that trademark rights are bound by the laws of individual nations. This timely volume offers expert analyses of the challenges facing crucial aspects of trademark law from some of the most prominent scholars in the field.
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Chapter 14: Trademarks, free speech, and ICANN's new gTLD process

Jacqueline Lipton and Mary Wong


When the domain name system was first introduced in the 1990s, it rapidly became apparent that the new form of Internet addressing would cause issues for trademark holders. Cybersquatters hit the scene early, attempting to extort money from trademark holders for transfer of their valuable online property. Later, more nuanced disputes arose in the domain name space involving contests between competing legitimate trademark holders for the same domain name, as well as contests between trademark holders and gripe site operators ñ those who wanted to utilize intuitive domain names to complain about or otherwise criticize a trademark holder. Issues also arose as to what would qualify as a protected trademark in the domain name space for purposes of legal protection. Domain name arbitrators and courts have accepted trademarks in personal names, some place names, and culturally significant terms, despite their questionable trademark status: this is most obvious in cases where secondary meaning is not apparent.

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