US Congress Urges ICANN To Resolve .AMAZON As Crucial Demonstration Before IANA Transition

amazon logoThe US Congress has written to ICANN urging the organisation to approve the online retailer’s application for the .amazon gTLD.

The letter from the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Trademark Caucus says Amazon’s application for the gTLD “conformed fully to the requirements of ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook, received full marks in ICANN’s application evaluation, and were consistent with its globally protection ‘Amazon’ trademark.” The letter notes that ICANN refused to allow the .amazon applications to proceed due to objections from the Governmental Advisory Committee, outside of ICANN’s application objection process, “because of sovereignty concerns raised by Brazil and Peru.” But the letter claims neither Brazil nor Peru have any “legally recognised rights – let alone intellectual property rights – in the term ‘Amazon’ and there is no basis in international law for either country to assert rights in the term ‘Amazon’.”

The letter says “based on rules set by the ICANN community and supported by international law” the ICANN rejection of Amazon’s application “appears to have no legal basis and potentially creates a troubling precedent for governments disregarding established principles of international law, including international trademark law.”

The letter urges ICANN to find a solution to the .amazon issue and to convene the interested parties. And if it can resolve the issue, “ICANN can demonstrate to Congress that it is accountable to the global community, independent of governmental interference, and respectful of international trademark law; such a demonstrations is crucial before the IANA functions transition.”

More information on this story is available in Kieren McCarthy’s report here.