Trademark Holders Continue Hard Lobbying Over New gTLDs

By January 18, 2011 Governance No Comments

You can never keep trademark holders down, not when they have oodles of money to pay oodles of lawyers, which is what ICANN is finding as it plans to implement new generic Top Level Domains, with the expectation being they will commence taking applications sometime this year.

Following intense lobbying of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee, the GAC succumbed to the pressure and have been putting pressure on ICANN to give trademark holders what they want.

World Trademark Review has followed the process closely and published a report this week on the process, although it is largely sympathetic to their clientele, the trademark lobby.

The article says that “thanks to the strident approach of ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC), brand owners have won what is being described as an ‘unprecedented opportunity’ to convince ICANN’s board of how to protect trademarks rights under new gTLDs.”

The board has agreed to meet with the GAC in a meeting rumoured to be planned for 28 February to 1 March in Brussels. Meanwhile, the GAC has appointed one person to collect community thought on this topic: UK government representative Mark Carvell. Carvell called a meeting in London last Friday to hear industry’s suggestions for how to overcome the stalemate of rights protection. With input from Vodafone, BBC, Richemont, BSkyB, News International and Shell, the discussion kept returning to the IRT recommendations.

The GAC have appointed a central person to “collect community thought”, this being UK government representative Mark Carvell. WTR notes a meeting was held “in London last Friday to hear industry’s suggestions for how to overcome the stalemate of rights protection. With input from Vodafone, BBC, Richemont, BSkyB, News International and Shell, the discussion kept returning to the IRT recommendations.”

“Don’t negotiate on the IRT report,” one trademark counsel told Carvell. “Maybe trademark owners could give you a real wish list to prove that the IRT is not a wish list.”

The WTR article also discusses the globally protected marks list and Uniform Rapid Suspension system from the trademark holder’s perspective.

But one thing is sure, large trademark holders are spending plenty of money and lobbying hard to ensure that if new gTLDs go ahead, which is close to a fait accompli, they will make life as difficult as they can for the new gTLD operators.

To read this World Trademark Review report in full, see:
www.worldtrademarkreview.com/daily/Detail.aspx?g=6e0817da-f9ad-4547-838f-082a8b4b0e56