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Names on the Net, e-mail in court, and trade secrets for hire

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1 Author(s)
Galkin, W. ; Sch. of Law, Maryland Univ., Baltimore, MD, USA

The registration policy for domain names on the Internet began simply enough: first come, first served. This policy worked fine until recently when the number of commercial forces-addresses ending with “.com”-skyrocketed. In just the past year, .com registrations have shot up from 18,000 to more than 82,000. As a result, disputes have mushroomed between companies with registered names and those holding trademarks to the same names. Network Solutions, a private corporation funded by the National Science Foundation to manage the Internet registry for domain names, got caught in the middle of the fracas. Although e-mail is today's most efficient means of communication, this very efficiency could become a liability. A case is discussed which highlights the importance of e-mail records as evidence in court actions. Computer companies, perhaps more than others, are subject to key personnel being lured away by competitors. This competition stems from the great value attached to technical skills. It is usually legal to attempt to hire a competitor's employees. Accordingly, “raiding” other companies' employees is permissible, as unfair as it might seem to the victim company. Although raiding is legal, restrictions on trade secret misappropriation still apply. To maximize protection, companies susceptible to losing employees to competitors should implement the methods discussed in this article

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan 1996

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