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ECTA (European Communities Trade Mark Association)- Comments on ICANN's plan on gTLDs- Comments in support of RPM in the new gTLDs

  • To: <irt-final-report@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: ECTA (European Communities Trade Mark Association)- Comments on ICANN's plan on gTLDs- Comments in support of RPM in the new gTLDs
  • From: "Anne-Laure" <anne-laure.covin@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 17:45:12 +0200


Dear Sirs,



ECTA, which stands for European Communities Trade Mark Association, was
formed in 1980. ECTA numbers approximately 1.500 members, basically
coming from the Member States of the European Union with associate
members from all over the world. It brings together all those persons
practising professionally in the Member States of the European Community
in the field of trade marks, designs and related IP matters. These
professionals are lawyers, trade mark advisors, trade mark attorneys,
in-house counsel and others who can be considered specialist
practitioners in these areas. With this membership, ECTA takes care of
the needs of large, middle and small sized companies. ECTA's secretariat
is in Brussels. Please consult www.ecta.eu <http://www.ecta.eu>  for
more information.


ECTA is concerned that the expansion of the domain name system through
the new gTLD launch will provoke trade mark infringement and therefore
consumer confusion and harm on a massive scale unless adequate rights
protection mechanisms are put in place.  Therefore ECTA commends the
ICANN Board for creating the Implementation Recommendation Team and
broadly supports its recommendations. 

Whilst ECTA does not support the new gTLD programme unreservedly, it
does believe that measures such as the IP Clearinghouse which will
reduce the cost of validating trade marks significantly during Sunrise
programmes and the URS (Uniform Rapid Suspension System) which will
enable rights owners to tackle the most blatant incidents of
infringement, are very valuable. 

As there have been questions over the practicality of such measures,
ECTA wishes to point out to the ICANN Board and staff that most of the
recommendations of the IRT appear to be based upon proven services. For
example, Nominet UK has been operating a fast-track challenge process
similar to the URS for several years with great success. Small,
non-commercial users have not been disadvantaged by the process. This
will certainly be the case with the URS which requires an independent
panelist to determine if the domain name has been used in an infringing

Finally, ECTA urges ICANN to ask the IRT to recommend measures to
standardise the practice of allowing proxy organisations to maintain
domain name registrations behind a "privacy curtain". Whilst there can
be legitimate reasons for this practice, services that mask accurate
registrant data are used time and time again by domain infringers and
inhibit trade mark professionals and law enforcement agencies alike. 


Thank you for your collaboration and for acknowledging receipt of our


Best regards.


Sent on behalf of ECTA President Simon Reeves.






Anne-Laure Covin

Legal Co-ordinator


Rue des Colonies 18/24, 9th Floor

Be- 1000 Brussels

Tel:  +32 2 513 52 85

Fax: +32 2 513 09 14

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