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dotBERLIN Comments to IRT Report

  • To: <irtp-draft-report@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: dotBERLIN Comments to IRT Report
  • From: "Dirk Krischenowski | dotBERLIN" <krischenowski@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 22:50:23 +0200

We are one of the dozens of parties that have been waiting for some years
now for the opening of a new top-level domain (TLD) application window at
ICANN. Therefore we appreciate the fast and straightforward creation and
comprehensive work the IRT team has accomplished in a very short timeframe.
We think the IRT work will lead to a solid framework for protecting
IP-rights. The only point we would like to notice is the missing
transparency of the IRT team members regarding their and their client's
interests in the new gTLD round. However, the report seems to be adequately
balanced in this respect.

Before coming to our comments we would like to mention that dotBERLIN has
always supported the implementation of rights protection mechanisms (RPMs),
in particular in cityTLDs. We think that the proper protection of
intellectual property will not only benefit and satisfy the rights holders,
it will also contribute to the allover success of a TLD. We have issued and
circulated a paper on cityTLD RPMs in the IP and ICANN community in
September 2008. The paper is available at

Comment 1 - It would help if existing gTLDs sign up!

Many articles by WIPO and others have been published stating that the
overwhelming burden (> 90%) in cybersquatting cases origins from
.com/.net/.org gTLDs. The 12 new gTLDs introduced since 2000 have had only
marginal impact on the predominance of .com/.net/.org in this respect. We,
like other experts, believe that no single new gTLD or even the top 100 of
the new gTLDs together will reach the 80 million domains in the .com
namespace. Therefore it might be helpful to heighten trust in existing TLDs
by applying the same RPMs introduced for the new gTLDs also to the existing
gTLDs. This is a "conditio sine qua non"!

Comment 2 - A white label IP clearing solution is needed.

Trademarks offices worldwide rarely offer notice and takedown service for
trademarks, it is mostly up to the private sector (lawyers and IP service
providers) to run watch services and identify infringements. Therefore we
propose that the IP Clearinghouse offers a white label solution that can
easily be implemented at marginal costs by registries, registrars and other
IP service providers.

Comment 3 - Protect local trademark diversity and avoid global trademark

A short prelude: Having a look into the Dow Jones index components from 1979
and 2009 clearly shows how GPML compatible trademarks disappear just in a
generations time span. The 2009 DJIA lists only 10 out of 30 companies that
where listed in 1979. Additionally, during the current crisis we have seen
at least a dozen GPML compatible trademarks disappear over night.
Our point is that the GMPL is likely to extinguish even strong local
trademarks. Let's have an example: There might be a Chinese car manufacturer
named SUN and with trademarks for cars and there might be a Finnish sauna
wholesaler with the name SUN, both along with the US-based SUN Microsystems.
SUN Microsystems seems the only out of the three which is eligible for the
GPM list. The question now is whether SUN Microsystems should have superior
rights or treatment options over the Chinese or Finnish SUN companies in the
new gTLD round. We know that this is a challenge to incorporate all rights
from different trademark owners. Nevertheless we question the GMPL and ask
the IRT team to open the space for bona-fide applications of national
trademark owners in good standing. We also think that any IP Clearinghouse
should respect and incorporate local trademark concerns. Otherwise a new
global trademark monoculture will be established which stands in contrast to
ICANN's mission to enhance diversity.

Comment 4 - URS yes, but cooperation with WIPO.

We propose that the creation and operation of the "Uniform Rapid Suspension
System ("URS") and the IP Clearinghouse should be a) aligned with the vast
experience of WIPO and other dispute resolution providers and b) personal
and  on-site with WIPO.

Comment 5 - We fully support the thick WHOIS model.

Undoubtedly, the thick WHOIS model has been a great success among gTLDs and
therefore we think it should be standard for the new gTLDs as well. But as
said in comment 1, the allover success for protecting IP also relies on its
implementation in the .com namespace.

Kind regards,

Dirk Krischenowski
Founder and CEO
dotBERLIN GmbH & Co. KG
Akazienstrasse 2
10823 Berlin
Tel +49 30 49782354
Fax +49 30 49782356
Mobile +49 173 2339156
Skype "krischenowski"
Web www.dotberlin.com

Attachment: Comment_dotBERLIN_IRT_2009-05-05.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

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