Virtual Countries: Internet Domain Names and Geographical Terms
Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, No. 106, pp. 124-136, February 2003
13 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2004
This paper examines the dispute between the Seattle company Virtual Countries Inc. and the Republic of South Africa over the ownership of the domain name address southafrica.com. The first part of the paper deals with the pre-emptive litigation taken by Virtual Countries Inc. in a District Court of the United States. The second part considers the possible arbitration of the dispute under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Process of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and examines the wider implications of this dispute for the jurisdiction and the governance of ICANN. The final section of the paper evaluates the Final Report of the Second WIPO Internet Domain Name Process.
Keywords: Trade mark law, Internet Domain Names, ICANN, geographical terms, city region and country names, the Digital Divide, jurisdiction
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