Olympics Threaten ICANN, Saying Its Trademark Concerns Outweigh Any Benefits From New TLDs

from the sense-of-entitlement-much? dept

It’s no secret that the Olympics seem to have a massive sense of entitlement when it comes to trademark issues — getting various governments to pass laws that go way beyond trademark laws in those countries to add special protections for the Olympics, barring pretty much any unauthorized mentions outside of press coverage (and even that’s a bit iffy). This is not at all what trademark law is supposed to do. Its latest move is to complain to ICANN about its new plans for a .sports top level domain, worrying that any benefits “are outweighed by the risks, harms and costs it poses to trademark owners and the public.” The public? Really? Furthermore, the IOC warns ICANN that it retains the “right to proceed against ICANN for damages resulting to the IOC or the Olympic Movement from the implementation of an unlimited number of new gTLDs.” Nice of them.

That article highlights that the IOC already has special deals with a number of big domain registrars blocking any registration that includes an IOC trademark — which is highly questionable, since registrations including trademarks are very much allowed to non-trademark holders, so long as the sites aren’t confusing to the public (for example, with “sucks sites” which are allowed). Hopefully ICANN stands up to bullying from the IOC which has no real case here, unless gov’ts keep passing special “for the Olympics only” abusive trademark laws.

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Companies: icann, ioc

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Comments on “Olympics Threaten ICANN, Saying Its Trademark Concerns Outweigh Any Benefits From New TLDs”

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Anonymous Coward says:


“This web page and related elements are for informative purposes only and thus the use of any of this information is at your risk! This is not the official Olympics website…note the word “suck”, warped graphics (or am I tripping again?), negative remarks, and the links above.
Copyright 2000 – 2008 Ron Bennett (bennett@wyomissing.com). All Rights Reserved”

Ima Fish (profile) says:

Re: Re:

your restrictive policies make it easier and easier to avoid the games everyday!

Unfortunately our governments still waste hundreds of millions of dollars of our money bending over backwards to get the games held in their borders.

The IOC is like an insidious disease. Even if you never come into contact with it, you still feel its effects.

Robert A. Rosenberg (profile) says:

Atlanta Olympics vs. Olympic Diner

When the Olympics was held in Atlanta a few years ago, the IOC tried to shut down a 30[?] or so year old Diner for being named Olympic Diner. They also tried to confiscate the Diner’s Domain Name (even though the registration predated the organization of the Atlanta committee – let alone when the city was granted the rights to hold it).

Constantine Roussos (.music) (profile) says:

ICANN Agrees to Meet with IOC about .sport

Hey Mike,

Your readers would be interested in reading this. This is ICANN’s response. They are planning on meeting with the IOC:


The IOC claims to hold the rights for .sport and that no-one else should be able to get a sport-related TLD. I think they are going overboard and I am sure ICANN will put them in their place. This kind of monopolistic behavior is unacceptable.

My .music initiative is quite different because it is a community initiative with multiple-stakeholder governance. Personally I think this is an attempt by the IOC to state its dominance for .sport. Why not get .olympics? Very interesting move that will backfire in my opinion,

Constantine Roussos

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