Marketing News interviewed Paul Levins, executive officer and vice president of corporate affairs at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). ICANN is the organization that manages the domain name system for the Internet.
They are considering expanding beyond .com, .edu, .org, .gov to many more, providing the opportunity for this exchange:
"Q: Before we delve further into security issues, how are you going to determine who gets '.apple'? What if an apple grower in Wisconsin wants to own that domain, but Apple Inc. also is interested? Is it first come, first served? I read that there's an auction process.
"A: Firstly, both applications would have to be equal to force an auction process. What I mean by that is you have to demonstrate that the apple growers of the world have as much intellectual property tied up in the name 'apple' as the Apple corporation."
So that's your mess-up, apple growers. By not objecting earlier to Apple's use of the word "apple", including its use in products such as the McIntosh, you're now in the state of having to prove that you are more "apple" than a tech company that makes machines and sells music.