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Trademarks and Domain Names Composed of Common Terms

The lexical material from which trademarks are formed is drawn from the same social and cultural resources available to everyone else, which includes domain name registrants. Since trademarks are essentially a form of communication, it is unsurprising that a good number of them are composed of common terms (dictionary words, descriptive phrases, and shared expressions) that others may lawfully use for their own purposes. more»

A Case to Further DNS Registrar Industry Self-Regulation

In most industries, businesses that blatantly act against the interests of their customers to favor their own internal profit centers would either not be allowed or else subject to controls and oversight by the government. It is universally regarded as an unfair and deceptive business practice. In the domain name registrar business, however, the normal practices of legitimate business dealings and customer protection seem woefully wanting. Kelly's Case described here illustrates the point... more»

How Long Does a URS Case Take?

The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) -- which allows a trademark owner to suspend certain domain names, especially those in the "new" gTLDs -- was designed as a quicker and less-expensive alternative to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). As I've written frequently before, there are significant differences between the URS and the UDRP. One of those differences is how long a typical proceeding lasts. more»

Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Honors Leading Companies at ICANN

Last week the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global; www.BuySafeRx.pharmacy) presented its inaugural Internet Pharmacy Safety E-Commerce Leadership Award to two organizations during the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Joint Meeting of the Registries and Registrars Stakeholder Groups at ICANN58 in Copenhagen, Denmark, it was announced on Tuesday. more»

How Long Does a UDRP Case Take?

The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) was designed as a quicker and less-expensive alternative to litigation. Although the UDRP policy and rules provide strict timelines for various stages of a UDRP case, how quickly a dispute is actually resolved can vary based on numerous factors. A typical UDRP case results in a decision in about two months, but the facts of each case -- including actions both within and outside the control of the parties -- may shorten or extend that timing. more»

Sanctionable Conduct for Abusing the UDRP Process

To claim a superior right to a string of characters mark owners must (first) have priority (unregistered or registered) in using the mark in commerce; and secondly, have a mark strong enough to rebut any counter argument of registrant's right or legitimate interest in the string. A steady (albeit small) number of owners continue to believe it's outrageous for registrants to hold domain names earlier registered than their trademarks and be permitted to extort amounts far "in excess of [their] documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name." more»

ICANN Complaint System Easily Gamed

ICANN's WDPRS system has been defeated. The system is intended to remove or correct fraudulently registered domains, but it does not work anymore. Yesterday I submitted a memo to the leadership of the ICANN At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) and the greater At-Large community. The memo concerns the details of a 214-day saga of complaints about a single domain used for trafficking opioids. more»

And the Wait Continues for .Corp, .Home and .Mail Applicants

On 6 March 2017, ICANN's GDD finally responded to an applicant letter written on 14 August 2016 to the ICANN Board. This was not a response from the ICANN Board to the letter from 2016 but a response from ICANN staff. The content of this letter can best be described as a Null Response. It reminded the applicants that the Board had put the names on hold and was still thinking about what to do. more»

Early Disclosure of UDRP Complaints

Under the previous rules for the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), domain name registrants that had a complaint filed against them were supposed to be notified of the complaint by the trademark owner that filed it. Then, a revised set of UDRP rules that went into effect in 2015 eliminated the complainant's obligation to notify the respondent. Instead, the new rules only require the UDRP service provider (such as WIPO or the Forum) notify the respondent, presumably after the registrar has locked the domain name, preventing any transfers. more»

Work in Progress: Preparing the Next Round of New gTLDs

There are now more than a thousand new Internet suffixes alongside "the originals" (not talking vampires here, but rather .COM et al). These additional web address endings are called "new gTLDs". Since Internet technical coordinator ICANN's 2012 call for applications for the creation of new gTLDs, and their roll-out starting in 2014 when suffixes such as .BARCLAYS (brand TLD), .NYC (geo TLD) and .SKI (generic TLD) became active, the question of another round of applications has been asked repeatedly. more»

Healthy Domains Revisited: The Pharmaceutical Industry

Users scored an exciting victory over copyright-based censorship last month, when the Domain Name Association (DNA) and the Public Interest Registry (PIR), in response to criticism from EFF, both abruptly withdrew their proposals for a new compulsory arbitration system to confiscate domain names of websites accused of copyright infringement. But copyright enforcement was only one limb of the the DNA's set of Registry/Registrar Healthy Practices. more»

Notice, Takedown, Borders, and Scale

I was on the front lines of the SOPA wars, because SOPA touched on two matters of strong personal and professional importance for me: protecting the Internet infrastructure, and protecting the economy from Internet related crime. I've continued to study this field and advise industry participants in the years since then. The 2017-02-20 paper by Annemarie Bridy entitled Notice and Takedown in the Domain Name System: ICANN's Ambivalent Drift into Online Content Regulation deserves an answer, which I shall attempt here. more»

Diversity of View or Unacceptable Inconsistency in the Application of UDRP Law

The general run of Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) decisions are unremarkable. At their least, they are primarily instructive in establishing the metes and bounds of lawful registration of domain names. A few decisions stand out for their acuity of reasoning and a few others for their lack of it. The latest candidate of the latter class is NSK LTD. v. Li shuo, FA170100 1712449 (Forum February 16, 2017)... It is an example of inconsistency in the application of law. more»

When Two Trademarks Aren't Confusingly Similar to One Trademark

As I've written before, domain name disputes involving multiple trademarks sometimes raise interesting issues, including whether a panel can order a domain name transferred to one entity without consent of the other. While panels typically have found ways to resolve this issue, one particularly troubling fact pattern arises when a panel denies a complaint simply because a disputed domain name contains trademarks owned by two different entities. more»

At the NCPH Intersessional, Compliance Concerns Take Centre Stage

The non-contracted parties of the ICANN community met in Reykjavík last week for their annual intersessional meeting, where at the top of the agenda were calls for more transparency, operational consistency, and procedural fairness in how ICANN ensures contractual compliance. ICANN, as a quasi-private cooperative, derives its legitimacy from its ability to enforce its contracts with domain name registries and registrars... more»

News Briefs

Certified Internet Pharmacy Criminally Charged for Conspiring to Sell Foreign-Made Drugs

Owner of .Feedback in Breach of Registry Agreement, Rules ICANN

Verisign Given Approval to Restrict .COM and .NET Domains In Various Countries

ICANN Drifting Toward Online Content Regulation, Says Law Professor

SBI, One of India's Largest Banks, Switching Its Domain to Branded TLD, bank.sbi

Pakistan to Get Its Country TLD in Urdu

Thick Whois Policy for .COM Goes Live

CADNA Returns to Lobby for Stronger Cybersquatting Laws

New Technique Detects and Eliminates Abusive Domains at Time of Registration

.COM Registrations Continue to Rise, Unphased by New gTLDs, ICANN Study Reveals

Close to 7.9 Million Domain Names Registered in Q2 2016

AusRegistry Celebrates 30th Anniversary of .au

ICANN Publishes gTLD Statistics and Trends Report, Asks for Community Feedback

12 Million New Domains Registered in Frist Quarter 2016, Total Domains Reach 326.4 Million Worldwide

ICANN Says It Will Not Get Directly Involved With Infringing Domains

ICANN to Extend Verisign .COM Registry Contract for Another Six Years

Neustar Announces Intention to Separate Into Two Independent and Publicly Traded Companies

Sweden Makes its TLD Zone File Publicly Available

PirateBay Domains to Be Handed over to the State, Swedish Court Rules

China's Draft Rule Targets Domain Name Supervision, Could Limit Access to Foreign Sites

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