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comments to Draft Final Report on Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs

  • To: comments-igo-ingo-final-20sep13@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: comments to Draft Final Report on Protection of IGO and INGO Identifiers in All gTLDs
  • From: Sergio De Gregori <sdegregori@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 12:35:08 +0200

IGOs represent a wide range of essential public interests. For this reason,
they enjoy a special status under public international law, which clearly
places them in a different category than other DNS stakeholders:

·       IGOs work towards cooperation between governments on vital issues
and humanitarian causes;

·       IGOs are created by treaty, they are the subject of international
law like States, and they deserve the same treatment;

·       IGOs are funded primarily by public funds provided by their Member
States. Abusive registration of IGO names and acronyms imposes serious
enforcement burden on IGOs, which should not have had to divert their
public resources for this purpose;

·       IGOs and the public interests which they represent, are
particularly vulnerable to misuse, fraud and confusion with respect to
their identities on the Internet;

·       IGOs enjoy certain immunities from legal process in order to
protect their neutrality and impartiality from national influence.

The names and acronyms of IGOs are protected by international treaties
within the scope of Article 6*ter *of the Paris Convention for the
Protection of Industrial Property, as further extended by Article 16 of the
Trademark Law Treaty and Article 2 of the WTO Agreement on Trade Related
Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. As a result, an overwhelming
majority of jurisdictions in the world protect the names and acronyms of
IGOs either by direct application of their treaty obligations or by
enacting national legislation.

The governing bodies of some IGOs have also adopted decisions requesting
their Member States to protect the identifiers of those organizations from
unauthorized use.

Protection of the names and acronyms of IGOs is also consistent with
ICANN’s mission, which includes, *inter alia, *protecting consumers from
abuse in connection with the new gTLD program. Furthermore, ICANN’s
founding documents require ICANN to carry out its activities in conformity
with relevant principles of international law and applicable international
conventions and to cooperate with relevant international organizations
(Articles of Incorporation, Article 4) and to duly take into account
governments' and public authorities' recommendations, recognising that
public authorities are responsible for public policy (By-Laws, Article 11).

Abusive registration of IGO names and acronyms harms the causes which IGOs
represent (public health, labour practices, food security, peacekeeping
operations, containment of weapons proliferation, sustainable economic and
social development and reconstruction, trade and commerce standards,
children's rights, refugees, disaster relief, fundamental scientific
research and other public policies). It is incumbent on ICANN as the
mandating agency of the domain name system to implement appropriate policy
measures to help mitigate these harms.

ICANN's development of the domain name system must therefore demonstrate a
capacity for serving that public interest within existing legal norms.

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