Blog results - found 285
In the latest World Trademark Review podcast, guest speaker Corynne McSherry from the Electronic Frontier Foundation proposes that the application of trademark law in the online environment, and lack of a safe harbour for intermediaries, allow a number of brands to silence free speech. Our panellists then have their say on the issue.
This week at the ICANN meeting in Dublin, one hot button issue has been responsibility for combatting abuse and illegal activity online. The debate has been intense, with ICANN and registrars seeking to avoid a ‘content policing’ role. This week’s discussions have also highlighted a fracture between the IP community and registrar stakeholders.
A number of recent Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) decisions have led to proclamations that the mechanism could be ‘dead to trademark owners’. One influential figure in the IP community disagrees with this assertion, but tells World Trademark Review that the URS is in need of review and could be replaced by a fast-track UDRP.
This week the ICANN board approved the proposed renewal of the registry agreements for the .travel’, ‘.pro’ and ‘.cat’ legacy TLDs, giving the green light for use of the Uniform Rapid Suspension system (URS) to be extended to the strings. However, addressing previous opposition to such a move, it stated that extension of the URS to other legacy TLDs is far from automatic, being dependent on the string operators themselves wishing to do so.
ICANN has published its first Global Registrant Survey, which reveals that almost half of domain name registrants are unaware of cybersquatting. The findings evidence the uphill battle facing trademark counsel as they seek to ensure that internet users are not duped by those seeking to exploit their marks.
To mark the release of ICANN’s new Rights Protection Mechanism Review report, we have created an infographic looking at the latest trademark protection patterns within the new gTLDs space.
Today marked the final day of DOMAINfest Asia, a first-of-its-kind international conference aimed at balancing Eastern and Western perspectives on issues including gTLDs, IDNs and the regulatory challenges unique to the Chinese Internet. World Trademark Review ferried across the Pearl River Estuary for the event in Macau, where it was clear that this region is a driving force in the world of domain names.
ICM Registry’s ‘.sex’ string has opened for sunrise, with the company stepping up its outreach to trademark counsel and the Trademark Clearinghouse predicting an uptick in trademark submissions.
Vox Populi Registry, the company behind ‘.sucks’, is looking to deflect repeated criticism ahead of the planned autumn launch of its Consumer Advocate Subsidy programme. The company continues to promote its Trailblazers Programme, as it hopes to encourage a more positive community spirit on the ‘.sucks’ platform. It has also launched a range of promotional websites, two of which lawyers claim could toe close to the line when it comes to infringing the IP rights of entertainment powerhouse DC Comics.
This week NetNames has reached out to the media to highlight its complaint to the European Competition Commission over Vox Populi’s pricing policies for the ‘.sucks’ string. Whether the complaint succeeds where previous referrals to the US Federal Trade Commission and Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs failed remains to be seen, but the CEO of Vox Populi has hit out at the “misunderstandings” that persist about the company’s plans.
The Intellectual Property Constituency has expressed concern that ICANN is rushing towards a second round of new gTLD applications, with the risk that first-round reviews will not be completed before a new application window has opened up. ICANN has moved to calm these fears, but the timings for a second round remain up in the air.
At a joint session of the Commercial Stakeholders Group and the ICANN board at this week’s ICANN meeting in Argentina, discussion focused on new gTLD pricing practices specifically, premium pricing policies and the higher levies charged by some registries on brand-related terms. While feeling the pain of trademark owners, the message from ICANN was clear - we can’t do anything about it until you empower us.
The Eurovision Song Contest, launched in 1956, has become one of most recognisable event brands in the world. With this enduring popularity comes a whole host of IP challenges that the event’s producer, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), has to contend with. However, unlike the very strict enforcement approach taken by organisers of major sporting events, the EBU’s IP department tells World Trademark Review that it sometimes “deliberately tolerates infringements”.
Noting that it wishes to “increase the consistency of registry agreements across all gTLDs”, ICANN has proposed that the renewal of the ‘.travel’ sponsored TLD registry agreement be based on the approved new gTLD Registry Agreement. One of the results of this approach is that the registry operator would comply with the URS, developed to enhance the RPMs available to trademark owners in new gTLDs. Subsequent to the consultation period opening, those opposed to the URS having effect in legacy TLDs have come out in force. However, the president of the IPC has told WTR that he would welcome the prospect of expanded URS use.
‘.brand’ use has long been cited as potentially giving new gTLDs a positive profile boost amongst consumers, with Barclays recently generating headlines over the announcement that it plans to migrate its online presence to the ‘.barclays’ TLD. However, two other ‘.brand’ applicants have adopted a more cautious stance, with a Richemont representative describing the current ‘.brand’ landscape as ‘a desert’ and Volkswagen’s IP counsel noting that the company is in no rush to start using its new gTLDs.
Earlier this week, we reported on a letter from Vox Populi Registry, the company behind ‘.sucks’, challenging the referral of the IPC's concerns over its pricing policies to the US Federal Trade Commission and Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs. In response, the president of the IPC has told WTR: “I for one do not intend to be muzzled”. Meanwhile, in DC a US Congress judiciary committee hearing has given stakeholders a forum to discuss the string.
Vox Populi Registry, the company behind ‘.sucks’, has written to ICANN to challenge the referral of concerns over its pricing policies to the US Federal Trade Commission and Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs, raising the spectre of legal action against the organisation. The move comes just days before a US Congress judiciary committee hearing on the ‘.sucks’ string.
After a record-breaking double sunrise period for its ‘.adult’ and ‘.porn’ gTLD strings, ICM Registry has announced it is expanding its programme for trademark owners by allowing sunrise B applicants access to its domain matching programme. The move comes at a time when, according to ICM Registry’s legal counsel, trademark counsel are clearly suffering from “domain fatigue”.
One talking point at this year’s INTA Annual meeting has been the marketing offensive launched by ‘.sucks’. During the conference it has been hard to ignore the mobile billboard driving around with ‘inta.sucks’ emblazoned on its side, or to avoid having ‘.sucks’ branded condoms pressed into your hands. We have also heard rumours that more marketing activities are planned.
The comment period for ICANN’s Rights Protection Mechanisms Review closes in two days. With just four comments posted to date, time is fast running out for counsel to help shape the organisation’s review of the trademark protections built into the gTLD programme.
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