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As of the date of this paper, none of the previously listed companies have attained federal registration of their service marks. According to the results of a trademark search conducted on December 17, 1999 using Thomson & Thomson, both DRUGSTORE.COM and VITAMINS.COM are the subjects of pending applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"). PETSTORE.COM had not yet filed an application for registration. However, under new office policies, the USPTO may refuse registration to each company's "domain name trademark" on the grounds that it is generic. While the USPTO follows traditional trademark law for determining whether any trademark can obtain federal registration, "domain named" companies are provoking much discussion. Under traditional trademark principles, the current policy of the USPTO is to deny registration to a mark consisting of a generic term followed by a Top-Level Domain extension ("TLD"). This paper will explore the proposition that domain names consisting of arguably generic terms followed by a TLD are still distinctive; therefore, they should still obtain and enjoy some level of trademark protection.


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24 Oct 2022
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  • Subject
    • Intellectual Property Law

    • Internet Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Intellectual Property and Technology Forum

  • Volume
    • 2000

  • Pagination
    • 1-11

  • Date submitted

    24 October 2022

  • Related URL