Despite echoing skepticism about the long-term prospects for commercial global domains based in part on how they are governed, this paper concludes that nominal addresses are essentially a new form of intellectual property, to be viewed and managed in ways sometimes fundamentally different from trademarks and other indicia of commercial goodwill. In support, the article first reviews the domain name system ("DNS") under which nominal addresses may be registered. The article then outlines central principles of unfair competition law underlying the resolution of disputes within the United States. Finally, the article reviews how nominal addresses pose several new kinds of issues regarding dilution, genericism, territoriality, and governance.

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IDEA: The Journal of Law and Technology

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This article as also made available as Paper 35 in the Pierce Law Faculty Scholarship Series by NELLCO (nellco.org).