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Veteran unicom.com owner sued by firm with new Unicom trademark




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Date: Sat, 05 Jan 2002 12:11:41 -0600
From: Ray Schafer <ray@theschafers.org>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject: Reverse Cybersquating

Declan,

I thought that this would be of interest to you or your readers. Chip 
Rosenthal has an interesting fight on his hands. He has registered and has 
been using the domain name "UNICOM.COM" since 1990 - well before the World 
Wide Web even existed here. A California company - also doing business as 
Unicom - wants the domain name and attempting to commandeer it by alleging 
that Chip is engaging in Cybersquating. (In fact he is not - the domain 
name is not for sale). It wasn't until 1997 that the California firm 
registered a trademark of a Typed Drawing of "Unicom" (SN#75311390), Words 
in Stylized Form: "Unicom Systems, Inc. Corporation California" 
(SN#75311438) and a Typed Drawing of "Unicom Systems" (SN#75311386). They 
now want the domain name "UNICOM.COM" that Chip has been using. A legal 
battle is underway. Here is an excerpt from the Defendant's (Chip's) motion 
to dismiss:

This case boils down to whether a little known corporation, which obtained 
a federal trademark registration long after Defendant began using his 
domain, can leverage the trademark by forcing Defendant to give up his 
domain name without regard to the facts or the law.

- Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, pp. 7-8

Chip has the whole thing documented on his web site: 
http://save.unicom.com. Chip has been an active contributor to Usenet and 
as a programmer, has contributed as part of the development team to the 
popular Unix mailer, Elm.

Ray Schafer




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