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Indom.com comments on the IRT report

  • To: <irtp-draft-report@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Indom.com comments on the IRT report
  • From: Stéphane Van Gelder <stephane.vangelder@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 05 May 2009 19:02:47 +0200

INDOM is a Paris (France) based corporate domain name registrar. INDOM is an
accredited ICANN registrar and a member of ICANN's Registrar Constituency.
After reviewing the Implementation Recommendation Team (³IRT²)'s preliminary
report, we would first like to say that we welcome the proposals made by the
IRT. They are intended to protect rights holders, who face risks and costs
connected with domain name abuse on a daily basis. We fully support efforts
to reduce this burden.
To do so in the light of a potentially large number of new TLDs appearing
the IRT proposes 5 solutions:
-      An IP Clearing house: a centralised database of trademark to protect
against abusive domain name registrations in new TLDs.

-      A Uniform Rapid Suspension Systems (³URS²), to allow expedited
"take-down" of abusive names.

-      A Post delegation dispute resolution mechanism allowing third parties
to denounce potential abuse such as a registry's breach of its ICANN
contract for example.

-      A centralised Whois for new TLDs.

-      An algorithm to avoid any risk of confusion between a trademark and a
new TLD during the initial period of creation of a TLD.

1-    IP Clearinghouse

An IP Clearinghouse is an idea which can only be welcomed by trademark
Requiring the payment of a fee to register for the service is
understandable, but said fee should be as low as possible (as specified on
page 5) to avoid a service which turns out to be prohibitive for rights
holders. It's also worth noting that as the service is designed for the new
gTLDs that are set to be launched, and for which the need to afford rights
holders some level of protection has been clearly recognised, it should not
be perceived as yet another "money making scheme". Using the IP
Clearinghouse database as a way to protect rights holders from having to pay
sunrise costs is in line with this requirement. Indeed, it may be worth
considering a partial extension of this scheme to existing gTLDs.
The IRT also proposes a Globally Protected Marks List (³GPML²) which would
block applications for terms at both top and second levels.
The IRT specifies that this List should only include marks that are globally
protected and well-known. A threshold is suggested as a way to limit the
number of marks on this list. While we understand the need to set a limit,
we think the IRT should be mindful of the possibility that this would result
in unequal treatment for some marks which may not make the threshold but
would still be in need of protection.
Problems may also arise from the use of the "well-known" criteria as a way
of identified which marks are deserving of making the List. Article 6 of the
Paris Convention defines a well-known trademark as something which may be
protectable even though it has not been registered. So the trademark owner
may need the protection afforded by the List even though he does not meet
the minimum criteria set forth on page 6 of the IRT IP Clearinghouse report.
If the IRT's proposal is that trademarks should be globally protected and
well-known, we fear that some marks will end up unfairly excluded if only
one condition is met.
We may see a lack of equality between trademarks that are undoubtedly well
known (such as COCA COLA, L'OREAL or CHANEL for example) and marks that
aren't but still meet multiple registrations criteria. These rights owners
would then haver to seek protection from another service such as the IP
We therefore believe that the proposed system should be opened to a wider
range of rights owners. Major rights owners aren't the only ones to fall
victim to cybersquatting or other abuse.
Smaller rights owners would still be able to use the IP Claims Services or
equivalent, where the domain name would not be blocked and the applicant
would have to green-light its registration despite the existence of prior
There would therefore exist a prima facie good faith of the applicant. Would
that really make a difference and act as a deterrent for cybersquatters and
what would be the position of the arbitration centres in examining the
"registration and use in bad faith" of a domain?
2-    Uniform Rapid Suspension System (³URS²)

Blocking a domain may in some instances prove too restrictive. The rights
owner may not wish to allow the registration to proceed, but what if a
second rights owner is interested in the domain? He should be allowed to
waive the lock.
3-    Thick Whois Model

We are strong supporters of a thick Whois model and feel that this should be
extended to all gTLDs, including existing ones.

Thanks you for reading our comments

Stéphane Van Gelder
General manager


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