Law

Law / Featured Blogs

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»