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HEARD ON THE BEAT: Technology

More Scrutiny for Net Trademark Accord

May 31, 1999|KAREN KAPLAN

The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers held off on adopting a controversial plan for resolving trademark disputes on the Internet during its meeting last week in Berlin. Some Net activists say the plan proposed by the World Intellectual Property Organization would give too much power to big companies at the expense of individual Internet users. Los Angeles-based ICANN said it supported several ideas contained in the WIPO plan, but the nonprofit group requested input from the Internet community on other issues. For instance, ICANN said it would like to create a method for settling trademark disputes between two parties who each have a legitimate claim to a particular name. ICANN asked the newly formed Domain Name Supporting Organization to offer its suggestions by July 31. ICANN also asked the organization to make recommendations about two related topics: how to handle "famous names," and whether to create new generic top-level domains--such as ".shop" and ".firm"--in addition to ".com," ".net" and ".org."

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