Law

Blogs

The Future of Domain Name Dispute Policies: The Journey Begins

A just-launched ICANN "working group" (of which I am a member) will - eventually - help to determine the future of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), the 17-year-old domain name arbitration system that has been embraced by trademark owners and criticized by some domainers; as well as the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS), the new (and limited) arbitration process that applies to the new gTLDs. more»

Trademark Owners' Rights to Corresponding Earlier Registered Domain Names

As I pointed out in last week's essay, having trademark rights that come into existence later than registrations of corresponding domain names only gets complainants to first base; they have standing but no actionable claim. I also noted a nuance (not a difference in substance) in standing requirements between the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). However, standing depends upon the specific facts of the case... more»

Quintessential and Other Acts of Bad Faith in Acquiring Domain Names

There are two essential differences between the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) and the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), one procedural and one substantive. The procedural difference is quite minor, a mere quirk that Panels adopted by consensus in the early days of the UDRP and deserves no more than a footnote. Under the UDRP, complainants have standing on proof that they have trademark rights when they file their complaints... more»

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. more»

No Barrier to Reading Across the Dot with New TLDs and Trademark Infringements

Even before the introduction of new top level domains in 2014, Panels had grappled with the before and after the dot issue with country code suffixes. The traditional procedure is to compare the characters of the accused domain names with the characters of trademarks for identity or confusing similarity. But this did not exclude the possibility of reading across the dot. more»

U.S. Congressional Trademark Caucus Haggles Over Price

It was standing-room-only at the Congressional Trademark Caucus session in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 6. The topic, brand protection in the new top level internet domain names, is still, it seems, a draw. With nearly two years' experience and statistical evidence of far fewer problems at far lower costs to brand owners than opponents of the program said would occur, it might be expected that the tone would cool. But the price of peace, I guess, remains eternal vigilance. more»

Problems With the Burr-Feinstein Bill

What appears to be a leaked copy of the Burr-Feinstein on encryption back doors. Crypto issues aside -- I and my co-authors have written on those before -- this bill has many other disturbing features. (Note: I've heard a rumor that this is an old version. If so, I'll update this post as necessary when something is actually introduced.) One of the more amazing oddities is that the bill's definition of "communications" (page 6, line 10) includes "oral communication", as defined in 18 USC 2510. more»

Running the Gamut: Commentary, Criticism, Tarnishment, Disparagement, and Defamation

The two bookends of speaking one's mind are commentary and criticism, which is indisputably acceptable as protected speech, and (in order of abuse) tarnishment and disparagement. Defamation, which is a stage beyond disparagement, is not actionable under the UDRP, although tarnishment and disparagement may be. In ICANN's lexicon, tarnishment is limited in meaning to "acts done with intent to commercially gain" (Second Staff Report, October 24, 2009, footnote 2). more»

Government-Industry Collaboration Is Better than Developing a Surveillance State

President Obama, in March 2016, again stressed the need for better collaboration between the tech industry and the government. He referred to his own White House initiative - this has resulted in the newly-formed US Digital Service, which is trying to recruit the tech industry to work with and for government. One of the key reasons it is so difficult to establish trustworthy, good working relationships is the extreme lack of tech understanding among most politicians and government bureaucrats. more»

China's MIIT Clarifies New Domain Name Regulations, Allays Concerns Over Government Interference

A recent clarification to draft domain name regulations by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) indicates greater engagement and openness with the domain name market, not a contraction as some had feared. Following the MIIT's announcement on March 25th 2016, the same Ministry issued a clarification on Wednesday March 30th stating that its new draft regulations will not affect any foreign enterprises or foreign websites from resolving in China. more»

Transfers of Domain Names Contemporaneous with Complaint: Cyberflight?

Cyberflight (defined as strategically transferring accused domain names to another registrar or registrant upon receipt of a complaint) was a sufficient irritant by 2013 for the ICANN to adopt recommendations to amend the Rules of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Effective July 1, 2015 the Rules now include a requirement for locking the domain as well as a change in the timing of transmitting the complaint to respondents. Before the amendment there had been no uniform approach to locking. more»

The Second Machine Age Calls for Vision and Leadership

This post I've been pondering on for a long time, but never found the right angle and perhaps I still haven't. Basically I have these observations, thoughts, ideas and a truckload of questions. Where to start? With the future prospects of us all. Thomas Picketty showed us the rise of inequality. He was recently joined by Robert J. Gordon who not only joins Picketty, but adds that we live in a period of stagnation, for decades already. "All great inventions lie over 40 years and more behind us", he points out. more»

Registering and Monetizing Personal Names

At the top of WIPO's list of the most cybersquatted trademarks for 2015 (issued on March 18, 2016) is "Hugo Boss" with 62 complaints. The report also reveals that the fashion industry led other commercial sectors with 10% of complainant activity. Not surprisingly, in this sector companies (couturiers extending their services to the general public) are branded with the personal names of their founders. Why any registrant would intentionally target well-known personal names in the fashion industry is a mystery because there's no future in it. In fact, complaints are never answered and always successful. more»

What is the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC)?

As a longtime member of ICANN's Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC), I'm impressed by the important work that this group does on behalf of trademark owners worldwide (as I've written before). While some die-hard IPC members spend countless (and, often, thankless) hours working virtually and in-person (at ICANN's global meetings) for the constituency, I find it very educational and worthwhile to participate on an ad-hoc basis. more»

Proving and Rebutting Respondent Lacks Rights or Legitimate Interests in Accused Domain Names

Paragraph 4(a)(ii) of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy requires complainants to offer evidence conclusive by itself or sufficient from which to infer that respondents lack rights or legitimate interests in the accused domain names. As I've pointed out in earlier essays (here and here) the standard of proof is low and relies on inference, for good reason; beyond the visual proof and what may be obtainable from on- and offline research, respondents control evidence of their choices. more»

News Briefs

U.S. House of Representatives Passes H.R. 699, the Email Privacy Act

H.R. 2666 Bill Proposes Deregulating U.S. Broadband Rates, Obama Threatens to Veto

White House Taking Hands-Off Approach to Encryption Bill Debate

UK's Proposed Spy Law Can Force Apple to Bypass Security, Plus a Gag Order

Internet Society Responds to FBI vs Apple Encryption Debate

US Senate Gives Final OK to Ban Internet Taxes

Proposed UK Bill Will Make it Criminal Offence for Tech Firms to Warn Users of Government Spying

U.S. Senators Introduce SEC Cybersecurity Disclosure Legislation

French Police Pushing to Outlaw Anonymous Web Browsing

New Bill Bans Internet Companies From Offering Unbreakable Encryption

European Court Invalidates EU-US Data Pact

EU Launches Inquiry on Whether Online Companies Should be Regulated

Google Ordered to Remove Search Results of 'Right to Be Forgotten' Removal Stories

Newly Released "Domain Name Arbitration" Book Offers Guide for Navigating UDRP

ICANN Asks U.S. Federal Trade Commission Whether .SUCK is Violating Any Laws

Canadian Regulator CRTC Issues $1.1 Million Penalty to Compu-Finder for Spamming

Google Shutting Down Engineering Office in Russia Amid Tighter Data Law

European Parliament Backs Resolution to Break Up Search Giant

German Court Holding Domain Registrar Responsible for Its End User Actions

U.S. Court Overrules Attempt to Seize Iran's, Syria's and North Korea's Domains

Most Viewed

Most Commented

Industry Updates

Participants – Random Selection