Less work for trademark lawyers. The absence of effective web directories/navigational tools during the mid to late 90’s forced people to use the domain name system as a directory. As owning XYZ.COM functioned in certain ways as having a trademark registration for XYZ in all classes in all countries, the absence of good search tools exacerbated cyber-squatting and reverse-high jacking. Trademark owners happily co-existing in the real world were pitted against each other. Simultaneously, for all the talk of DNS expansion, the DNS was poorly serving local business (background here).
The growing precision of search tools increases the ability of a business to make itself known without ownng the best ‘.com’ version of its name. The trend towards smarter search was apparent this week with the announcement of Google’s local search and Amazon’s A9 personalized search, on the heels of the recent debut of Yahoo’s SmartView Regional Search. At some point, the Internet will have the same level of excitement for trademark lawyers as do yellow page directories.
Much is made of the global nature of the Internet, but wasn’t it Tip O’Neil who said “All searching is local?”