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Law / Featured Blogs

2018 Domain Name Year in Review

Well, it's that time of year again. The time of year when I look back at all of the biggest domain news stories from the last twelve months, and also reflect on my predictions from last year. As expected, GDPR has had a major impact on the ability to access domain ownership information. And we did indeed see a number of M&A transactions over this last year. However, there wasn't a lot of new .Brand activity. This is one prediction where I may have missed the mark... more

The Hidden Perils of Filing a Baseless UDRP Complaint

When properly used, the UDRP enables trademark owners to take control of abusive domain names. Yet sometimes the UDRP itself is misused by trademark owners to try to seize desirable domain names to which they have no legal entitlement. Is there a downside to misusing the UDRP to attempt a domain name hijacking? Unscrupulous companies at times misuse the UDRP by improperly invoking its power to compel a transfer of ownership in order to seize inherently valuable, non-infringing domain names that the companies desire for their own use. more

Abusive Conduct: Domain Name Registrants and Rights Holders

Abusive conduct or cybersquatting is the essence of disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), usually by domain name registrants violating their warranties of registration but also (in appreciable numbers) by trademark holders overreaching their statutory rights. The UDRP remedies are asynchronous: there is forfeiture of offending domain names; for abusive use of the process there is reverse domain name hijacking (RDNH), essentially a shaming remedy that substitutes for a monetary penalty. more

Has President Macron Thrown Multistakeholderism Under the Bus at UN IGF 2018 Paris?

Today, President Macron threw down the gauntlet to President Trump and the US administration on Multistakeholderism. In his welcome address to IGF 2018 Paris a few hours ago, President Macron challenged IGF to become more relevant by reinventing itself in factoring in multilateralism into IGF's non-decision-making body and to move beyond the mere talk-ship lip service it has been for the last 13 years. more

Internet Watch Foundation Uses Hashes to Block Child Abuse Material

Last week during the ICANN meeting in Barcelona I attended a short presentation from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Their mission is pretty simple: ...eliminate child sexual abuse imagery online. Fortunately, the presentation I was at did not include any of the actual material (which would have been illegal anyway) but even without seeing any of it the topic is one that I think most people find deeply disturbing. more

Law Enforcement Agencies Will Have Authority on Registries and Registrars

Accessing Whois information and acting on a litigious domain name is becoming a nightmare for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies must have an access to the information provided by registrants in the Whois database and, in specific cases, have authority to act FAST on a domain name. The EU has a solution for this and it's coming in 2020. more

Addressing Infringement: Developments in Content Regulation in the US and the DNS

Over the course of the last decade, in response to significant pressure from the US government and other governments, service providers have assumed private obligations to regulate online content that have no basis in public law. For US tech companies, a robust regime of "voluntary agreements" to resolve content-related disputes has grown up on the margins of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Communications Decency Act (CDA). more

The Road Less Traveled: Time Is Running Out for NTIA-Verisign Cooperative Agreement

It is remarkable  -  for all the wrong reasons  -  that only two months remain before the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) must make a fateful decision on how it will address its' long-standing Cooperative Agreement with Verisign  -  the private-sector corporation that edits the authoritative address book of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), maintains two of the DNS root servers, and operates the .com and .net registries of the Internet, undoubtedly one of the most lucrative concessions ever granted. more

The Emergence and Consolidation of a Jurisprudence of Domain Names

One of the fallouts of disruptive inventions is the need for new laws to counter their unexpected consequences. As it concerned the Internet, these consequences included a new tort of registering domain names identical or confusingly similar to trademarks and service marks with the intention of taking unlawful advantage of rights owners. Prior to 2000 the only civil remedy for "cybersquatting" or "cyber piracy" was expensive and time-consuming plenary actions in courts of competent jurisdiction under national trademark laws. more

Respondent Had Rights or Legitimate Interests in Domain Name by Using It to Promote Genuine Business

In the case of Avon Products, Inc. v. Jenika Mukoro, Heirs Holdings, a 3-member WIPO Panel denied the Complainant's efforts to have the domain name avonhealthcare.com transferred because the Complainant failed to sustain its burden of establishing that the Respondent had no rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name. The Panel found that the Complainant proved that its trademark AVON (which has been in use since 1929) is well-known in the field of cosmetics... more