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Aimster founder Johnny Deep has said publicly that the name of his service derives from the nickname for Aimee — supposedly the woman pictured on the site’s home page. Never mind that the service taps into AIM (AOL’s Instant Messenger Service) to enable Napster-like services; the Aimster name is just a coincidence. Get it? The National Arbitration Forum wasn’t buying it. Arbitrators ruled 2-to-1 that Aimster was essentially cyber-squatting, using AOL’s registered trademark to imply a connection between the services and “lure” unsuspecting users to the site, according to Computer User‘s Steven Bonisteel. The ruling requires Deep to give up the “Aimster.com” domain name, along with a few others, even though the dissenting arbitrator, G. Gervaise Davis, pointed out that AOL didn’t register AIM as a trademark until seven months after Aimster.com was registered. Deep called the decision “a horrendous error.” The Register’s Kieren McCarthy offered the best analysis of the case, explaining why AOL went to the National Arbitration Forum to settle the matter, rather than to the World Intellectual Property Organization, where it usually goes. McCarthy detailed a similar case in which a developer used an AOL trademark in part of a domain (“icqplus.org”) because it offered a product that depended on AOL’s product. WIPO ruled against AOL in that case, so in this similar case, “AOL went to NAF instead.” It really pays to shop around. Related Articles from The Industry Standard: Supremes Will Play COPA Apple’s Script IBM Services and Fiat Hammer Out a $6.2 Billion Deal Copyright � 2001 The Industry Standard

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