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ICANN has published its Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data in a bid to ensure WHOIS compliance with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, while maintaining the existing WHOIS system to the greatest extent possible. Subject to further revision prior to a board vote, the model proposes the establishment of a mechanism to allow contact with domain name registrants while cloaking their identity.
Supreme most searched counterfeit brand, IACC training programme and massive confectionery brand portfolio sold: news round-up
In our latest round-up, we look at Under Armour launching a trademark suit against a competitor, how online searches for fake fashion is soaring, the massive portfolio of confectionery brands that has been sold off and details of the IACC’s latest training programme.
Google’s ‘.app' TLD exited sunrise yesterday, with registrations powering past the 3,000 mark. While a majority of the world’s most valuable brands have registered their names in the string, a number of international powerhouses appear to have chosen not to.
One of the feature-length analysis articles in the latest issue of World Trademark Review focuses on the UDRP, concentrating on the debate over reverse domain name hijacking. Reflecting on the chasm that often exists between the domain and brand owner communities on this issue, the author calls for “a healthy and even-handed debate” over the future of the UDRP.
This week ICANN representatives met with the Article 29 Working Party (WP29), seeking clarity over the future of WHOIS in light of the GDPR. With the enforcement date of May 25 fast approaching and registries rolling out different policies in a bid to be compliant, the US government and INTA have expanded on their concerns with the WP29 guidance with the latter warning that “a WHOIS blackout on May 25 will result in a field day for bad actors to purchase and misuse domain names at the public’s expense”.
Preparing for the next round of new gTLDs: ICANN insider reveals key issues brand owners need to be aware of
World Trademark Review sits down with Jeff Neuman, co-chair of ICANN’s Subsequent Procedures Working Group and SVP for Com Laude for the USA. With the former’s initial report imminent, he confirms that the recommendation will be that the next new gTLDs application window be formatted as a “round”, and identifies the key issues that brand owners need to be alive to.
In this guest blog, Brian J Winterfeldt, principal of the Winterfeldt IP Group and president of ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency, provides an update on discussions at the recent ICANN meeting in San Juan, at which the spectre of a WHOIS blackout loomed large. It is a long read but an important one, in which he also outlines the practical actions that rights holders can and should take now in an effort to prevent the worst case scenario (if it isn’t already too late).
UDRP case filings at WIPO continued their upwards momentum, with 3,074 cases handled by its Arbitration and Mediation Centre in 2017. While the rise was less pronounced than in previous years, the figure sets a new record. Worryingly for rights holders, the number of domains covered in these filings rose at a much faster rate, hitting a historical high.
USPTO director makes first public comments, Louboutin dismisses media speculation, and ‘.com’ rises: news round-up
In our latest news round-up we look at the first public comments from the USPTO’s new director, the Japanese government’s partnership with Nigeria to tackle fakes, further details on trademarks after Brexit, and much more.
Barbie setback, Fiji pledges improved IP environment and Coco a success despite trademark backlash: news round-up
Every Tuesday and Friday World Trademark Review presents a round-up of news, developments and insights from across the trademark sphere. In this edition, we look at how Mattel is facing a trademark opposition setback in Japan, how domain name growth has slowed due to a drop in new generic top-level domains and how a pop superstar identified counterfeits of her own merchandise being sold, which led to the arrest of her uncle.
While consumers enjoy the low prices offered on Black Friday, the sales period is a significant challenge for trademark practitioners especially for protecting shoppers from online scams. Exclusive research looks at how well-known fashion and retail brands have utilised (or not) key new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), including ‘.blackfriday’ and ‘.shop’. We find that few brands are taking advantage of new gTLDs for marketing purposes and, unsurprisingly, numerous examples of cybersquatting and unusual examples of brand hijackings.
As the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers community grapples with the potential threat of the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation regime to the WHOIS system, the organisation is deferring enforcement actions over non-compliance with contractual obligations relating to the handling of registration data. The move has been criticised as a “reactionary” gambit by one leading IP expert.
Comic Con battle escalates, UK opposition levels jump and tomorrow’s trademark leaders: news round-up
In our latest news round-up we report on the escalation of a Comic Con trademark spat into a free speech row, the unveiling of trademark industry leaders, the formation of a new Argentinian law firm and how North Korea is working towards the establishment of “world-class” consumer brands.
At this week’s Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers meeting, representatives from e-commerce giant Amazon received a hostile reception from the Governmental Advisory Committee while seeking to reach a compromise over its stalled ‘.amazon’ generic top-level domain application. In a session on Monday afternoon, the company was told that it had blown an opportunity to reach a compromise and that allowing the application to proceed would open a “Pandora’s box”.
Every Tuesday and Friday World Trademark Review presents a round-up of news, developments and insights from across the trademark sphere. In the latest edition, we look at the Office of the US Trade Representative reviewing Thailand’s IP status, Canada's advance towards introducing plain packaging, a luxurious approach to generic top-level domain pricing and a scramble for the Amiga trademark.
Lady Gaga sues Radio Gaga, Olympic legend to speak at IP event, UrWork hits out at WeWork: news round-up
Every Tuesday and Friday World Trademark Review presents a round-up of news, developments and insights from across the trademark sphere. In the latest edition, we look at trademarks filed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, a three-time Olympic gold medallist speaking at an IP event and Lady Gaga stoking online anger with a Radio Gaga lawsuit.
Amazon calls for end to ‘.amazon’ gTLD stand-off; demands prompt action to end dispute with governments
Amazon has called on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to “immediately approve” its application for the ‘.amazon’ generic top-level domain, noting that prompt action is necessary because “there is no sovereign right under international or national law to the name ‘Amazon”’, with an Independent Review Process Panel having previously ruled that ICANN acted in a manner inconsistent with its bylaws when rejecting the company’s application. The move to end the stand-off over the string is one that all brands should monitor.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Knowledge have published a report advising domain name registrants that, in a bid to “minimise exposure to trademark bullying”, they should avoid registering domains in the new gTLD environment. While counsel may object to the ‘bullying’ label being extended to legitimate enforcement efforts, the report could have a positive payback for policing strategies.
At this week’s ICANN meeting in South Africa, the impact and effectiveness of new gTLD rights protection mechanisms has taken centre stage, with one participant voicing concerns that some trademark owners are over-reaching in sunrise applications. The flipside, of course, is that many see the need to implement proactive defensive registrations across a range of strings. Now, a new study from INTA reveals that member registrations in new TLDs have been “overwhelmingly made for defensive purposes”.
Pharmacy chain Boots has become the latest company to signal an intention to terminate a registry agreement, this time for the ‘.boots’ top-level domain (TLD). While a negative development for the new generic TLD programme, it should not be viewed as an indicator that ‘.brands’ are losing their lustre on the contrary, the rollout of branded spaces shows no sign of slowing.
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