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A new step in the commercialization of the Internet:
the strategy of the cancer
Iris is calling up in support of Leonardo

IRIS Press release - February 20th, 2000

Version franšaise

The French company Transasia Corporation is suing LEONARDO for a million dollars in damages, on the grounds of trademark infringement. The case has been filed following the recent registration in France by the company of the names Leonardo, Leonardo Finance, Leonardo Partners, Leonardo Invest and Leonardo Experts.

Leonardo, which has been founded in 1967 and has launched a web site since 1994, is a non profit organization promoting for 30 years the relationships between the arts and the sciences. The OLATS (Leonardo observatory of arts and technosciences) is part of this movement.

Beyond Leonardo's effective precedence, there is no possible confusion between a non profit organization promoting relationships between the arts and the sciences, and a financial expertise company. In addition, there is no reason that Transasia wants Leonardo be forbidden from using its name, while the company is not trying to do the same with the numerous other French companies using the same name. Or is this action only a starting point?

The real objective is that Transasia and its partners, which main activity is a risk capital activity for Internet start-up companies, are denying the simple right to exist to other, non profit, activities under the same name. Yet the name LEONARDO is a very common name: more than fifty French companies run different activities under this name, and there exists a huge number of groups and projects named Leonardo, including the famous European programme. Transasia action is the same unbearable demonstration of arrogance as in the etoy case, which consists of destroying any project which could be in the light of the company, e.g. by being indicated as a result of an Internet search engine.

This new step in the commercialization of the Internet is totally unacceptable. These companies are acting like cancers, eliminating, by financial stifling, cells which only neighboring characteristic is to have the same name. This new step is yet another avatar of an only-for-profit logic, which we have denounced many times. This step is specially serious since it tries to misappropriately rely on intellectual property and trademark rights, or even on the issue of ISP liability, as we have recently seen during the discussion at the French Senate.

IRIS has accepted to become a member of Leonardo/OLATS support committee. We express them our total support and our willing to launch a support campaign directed towards the non commercial Internet movement, so that Transasia iniquitous action cannot endanger Leonardo.

Join the campaign in support of Leonardo:
- Inform yourself by consulting IRIS site: http://www.iris.sgdg.org/actions/leonardo
- Sign up and send a message to Transasia manager to asking him to withdraw his complaint: http://www.iris.sgdg.org/actions/leonardo/signer.html

Contact IRIS :
Meryem Marzouki (Meryem.Marzouki@iris.sgdg.org) - Tél : +33(0)144749239

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