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Comments of Gregory S. Shatan

  • To: comments-ird-draft-final-09mar15@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments of Gregory S. Shatan
  • From: Greg Shatan <gregshatanipc@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2015 19:59:56 -0400

I am the President of the Intellectual Property Constituency, but I submit
these comments in my individual capacity, due to the lack of time before
comments close.

These comments reply to the comments submitted today by the Registries
Stakeholder Group (RySG).  In the RySG comments, they assert that "users
like law enforcement and trademark agents represent special and not general
users of registration data" and that other users should not "subsidize the
fulfillment of their needs."

I vigorously disagree with this statement.  First, the statement reflects a
significant lack of understanding of the concerns, needs and even identity
of those who use registration data.  This issue does not concern "trademark
agents" (a term in use in only a few jurisdictions and which may describe
attorneys or non-attorneys involved in the filing of trademark
applications, depending on the jurisdiction, or which may describe
resellers of TMCH registration services).

This issue concerns trademark owners.  Virtually every business in the
world (including non-profits) is a trademark owner.  Musicians and bands
are trademark owners.  Trademark owners can be large or small -- even
individuals -- and they are in every country in the world.

Trademark owners are not the only intellectual property owners concerned
with access to registration data. Copyright owners are equally concerned.

It is ludicrous to assert that trademark owners and copyright owners, who
number in the millions, if not hundreds of millions, around the world are
"special users."  This includes not only the entire private sector, but
also civil society and individuals -- all of whom may be trademark or
copyright owners.

This is not an issue for "trademark agents" (whoever they may be, in the
eyes of the RySG) -- this is an issue for a huge swath of the world's
population.  These cannot all be "special users."

The RySG proposes that "specialized consumers" would be forced to pay for
access to registration data.  I will leave it to global law enforcement
(another "special user") to comment on their ability to use government
funds to pay for registration data.  For larger trademark owners and
copyright owners, this could be a significant expense,which could well be
passed on to consumers.  For smaller trademark and copyright owners, this
could be the difference between being able to defend their works and
businesses, and letting piracy, counterfeiting and cybersquatting put them
out of business.

I urge the EWG to disregard these ill-placed, ill-informed and injurious

Respectfully submitted,

Gregory S. Shatan

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