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Fifteen Years of Fame: The Declining Relevance of Domain Names in the Enduring Conflict between Trademark and Free Speech Rights

58 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2011  

Jude A. Thomas

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 17, 2011

Abstract

Domain name disputes have been the subject of substantial litigation, legislative action, and scholarly debate over the course of the past fifteen years. Much of the debate is the product of disagreement concerning whether trademark rights naturally extend into the domain name space and to what extent those rights are limited by principles of free speech. Gripe sites are paradigmatic examples of this debate. Society’s investment in defining these rights continues to grow, even as the relevance of domain names may be declining, due to: (1) changes in the way users locate content on the Internet; (2) the growth of social media and its consequent de-emphasis on top level domain names; and (3) the dilution of the domain name space.

Keywords: domain name, gripe site, free speech, trademark, intellectual property

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Jude A., Fifteen Years of Fame: The Declining Relevance of Domain Names in the Enduring Conflict between Trademark and Free Speech Rights (October 17, 2011). John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 11, p. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1945374

Jude A. Thomas (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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