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INTA Response to "A Plan for Action Regarding New gTLDs"
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  • To: "'gtld-plan-comments@xxxxxxxxx'" <gtld-plan-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: INTA Response to "A Plan for Action Regarding New gTLDs"
  • From: Michael Heltzer <mheltzer@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 16:21:11 -0500

INTA Response to "A Plan for Action Regarding New gTLDs"
December 9, 2002

The International Trademark Association, the largest organization in the
world dedicated solely to the interests of trademark owners with over 4,300
members, is pleased to respond to "A Plan for Action Regarding New gTLDs," a
paper by ICANN President Stuart Lynn. During the ongoing international
debate on the future of the domain name system, INTA has served as the voice
of trademark owners around the globe, ensuring that their trademarks are
protected and, equally important, that consumers have a safe and reliable
online environment. 

Although our preference was for the NTEPPTF designed study of the seven
gTLDs approved in 2000 to be completed prior to the introduction of any
additional domain name suffixes, we find generally that properly
administered sponsored gTLDs present, as Mr. Lynn states, "fewer worries
about trademark infringement and cybersquatting."  We therefore do not
object to the introduction of three new sponsored gTLDs as proposed in the
paper, provided that the abbreviated study of existing sponsored gTLDs
suggested by Mr. Lynn confirms this finding.  (The abbreviated study will,
according to Mr. Lynn, ask "Is there any evidence that sponsored TLDs are
havens for cybersquatting or other registration abuses likely to cause
concerns among significant portions of the Internet community?")

Consistent with previous statements made by the Intellectual Property
Constituency, of which INTA is a member, we strongly suggest that the ICANN
Board of Directors insist that applications for the three new sponsored
gTLDs have clear and specific rules regarding registration in the namespace.
Specifically, any new sponsored gTLD should have, at a minimum, clear rules
about who is permitted to register second-level domain names in that space,
and about what activities are or are not appropriate or acceptable on the
corresponding sites, and for what purposes. Furthermore, these applications
must also include a system to make sure that prospective domain name
applicants qualify for registration under the sponsor's charter prior to
obtaining a domain name registration.  Moreover, a mechanism needs to be in
place to ensure efficient resolution of violations of the sponsored gTLD's
charter or restricted nature, and must provide that any third party have
standing to challenge a domain name under these mechanisms. In this regard,
a procedure must be established whereby a registrant found to have provided
false information as to its entitlement to register in the sponsored gTLD,
or to have registered or used a domain name registration in violation of the
established purpose of the sponsored gTLD, will have the offending domain
name removed from the namespace. 

Mr. Lynn also solicits opinions on his recommendation for the board to ask
the DNSO (or its successor) for advice on how to evolve the top-level
generic namespace.  We endorse this recommendation.

INTA looks forward to continuing to work with ICANN and the stakeholder
community in the continued responsible evolution of the domain name system.

Michael Heltzer
Manager, External Relations
International Trademark Association


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