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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»

Overreaching Trademark Owners and the Misguided Better Right Theory of Domain Name Ownership

In Blogs devoted to news from the domain name industry and domainers, there is great glee in reporting about overreaching trademark owners. The reason for the glee, I think, is that it's a form of collective sigh from domainers and the domain industry that the UDRP is working as it should, which means that Panels are careful in their assessments of parties' rights. more»

Three Reasons Why Apple Didn't Have to Unlock a Phone

The US government is demanding Apple unlock iPhones in about a dozen cases beside the San Bernardino one. In a strikingly similar case, Judge James Orenstein in Brooklyn rejected the government's request for three separate reasons. In the decision the judge refers several times to the San Bernardino case, and it is clear he expects this decision to be an important precedent for that one. more»

Apple vs FBI: Apple and Others to Argue on the Hill

Tomorrow afternoon at 1pm EST Apple will be giving testimony to the House Judiciary Committee. The session that Apple and others will be taking part in is aptly named, The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy In common with other hearings the various witnesses called to speak have already submitted their written testimony, so we can already look at it and analyse it. more»

Is the DMCA an Effective Way to Take Down Infringing Content?

As promised at an end-of-the-year (2015) announcement, the U.S. Copyright Office has now launched a comment submission process about the "safe harbor provisions" of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA is often used by copyright owners to get infringing content - images, text, videos, music, even software - removed from problematic websites. more»