Free the Internet ?
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Date: Mon, 20 Mar 1995 09:05:45 -0800
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Subject: Free the Internet ?
----- Begin Included Message ----- Date: Mon, 20 Mar 1995 08:30:55 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Tony Rutkowski <email@example.com> Subject: Free the Internet Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org This morning's Washington Post Business Section ran the following p.3 story: ============================================================ IT'S AN INTER-KNOT As cyber pioneers scramble to put down stakes in the digital work, a more old-fashioned squabble is taking place over the right to use the name "Internet." At odds are two Reston-based organizations. On one side: the Internet Society, a nonprofit organization with the aim of making the on-line world a place where everyone can play. On the other is a network with a membership of about 520 financial institutions, which began using the name "Internet Inc." in 1984. It registered its "Internet" trademark word in 1989 with the Patent and Trademark Office. According to David O'Connor, chief executive of Internet Inc., the group adopted the name because it seemed to reflect the nature of their business - namely, linking financial institutions to support electronic banking. Internet Inc., for instance, owns the "Most" ATM network. The organization only uses the "I" word as its corporate name - not as the name of any product. Still, it diligently defends its trademark when others use it in a way that might create "the potential for confusion, conflict and damages," O'Connor said. That's where things get sticky. The Internet Society, you see, wants the Patent Office to rescind the trademark. "The Internet, as a technology and as a global network, was well established even in 1984," argued Tony Rutkowski, executive director of the Internet Society. "It's always been a generic term." The Patent Office is reviewing the dispute. Until it is resolved, the department has suspended decisions on whether others can register trademarks with the word "Internet." "It's sheer folly to think that someone holding a trademark could keep all the people in a good cross section of the world from using what has essentially become a household word," Rutkowski said. Perhaps the conflict itself will spawn a sub-business. Imagine the T-shirts and bumper stickers: "Free the Internet!" ============================================================ ----- End Included Message -----
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