Re: The Path URN Specification - trademarks

John Curran (
Wed, 29 Mar 1995 13:53:40 -0500

Message-Id: <v0211012fab9f36d3a185@[]>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 1995 13:53:40 -0500
To: Paul Hoffman <>
From: John Curran <>
Subject: Re: The Path URN Specification - trademarks
Cc: Michael Shapiro <>,

At 6:19 PM 3/28/95, Paul Hoffman wrote:

>As I understand it, nothing in the path URN spec registers any names that
>not already given in the DNS. If that is correct, there is nothing to worry
>about with respect to trademarks and the spec. 

Some entity will "assign" xxx.path.urn to a company, giving them an implicit
endorsement of use of that set of URNs, and will do it without consideration
to the current DNS allocations.  To quote Michael:

>If you are asking if there is a relationship between the existing
>hostnames and the "path.urn" names - there is not. They are unrelated.
>It would probably be the case that some of the same machines that
>function as nameservers for hostnames would also function as servers
>for the "path.urn" namespace, but this isn't required.  ...

What entity has the honor of registering publishers?  Do we have a policy
document which provides this entity with guidance on how to perform these
registrations?  In particular, if I apply on day 1 for path:/com/microsoft,
will the registration be accepted or not?

Not tying the URN prefix to an existing namespace requires creating a new
namespace management function; any such function finds itself reconciling
trademark conflicts before assignment (an extremely time-consuming and 
expensive task to undertake for each registration), or finds itself making
such assignments independent of the trademark practive and risks being a
named in an subsequent infringement suit for facilitating such infringement.
That's not to say we shouldn't establish a new namespace for this purpose,
only that we may have to watch the outcome of the current suits underway to
determine the safest course of action.