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Comments of Project Management Institute to IRT Final Report

  • To: <irt-final-report@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Comments of Project Management Institute to IRT Final Report
  • From: "Satterthwaite, Janet F." <JFSatterthwaite@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 17:18:24 -0400


            Project Management Institute (PMI) , by its attorneys,
respectfully submits it comments to the IRT Final Report.


            PMI is the leading global association for the project
management profession. Since its  founding in 1969, PMI been at the
forefront of working with business to create project management
standards and techniques that work.  With more than half a million
members and credential holders in over 170 countries, PMI is the leading
membership association for the project management profession. PMI also
provides education and professional credentials for project management
professionals. PMI's various service marks are registered in more than
twenty countries.  


            The prospect of virtually unlimited new gTLD's is of concern
to PMI.  PMI has already been the victim of impersonation on the
internet as a result of abusive domain name registration, and is
concerned that present plan does not adequately address the likely
increase new gTLD's will cause for such opportunities to occur.


            Furthermore, PMI wishes to note at the outset that the need
for new gTLD's in the first place is simply not demonstrated in view of
the risk to the stability of the DNS and the additional burden on
brandowners.  PMI understands that the task of the IRT is not to
question whether there should be new gTLD's, but rather, to advise ICANN
on the protection of trademark rights in the implementation process.
However, the failure of ICANN first to address this fundamental question
undermines the IRT's conclusions, specifically on the issue of whether
the IRT has sufficiently considered the needs of the market at large or
merely focused on the concerns of a few large corporations to the
prejudice of the many mid-level organizations that are active in
international commerce. Moreover, the IRT's recommend brand protection
still will require effort, expense and vigilance by trademark owners. It
is also unclear whether well-funded competitors can obtain gTLD
registries for generic terms in their industry and unfairly exclude
competitors which play an important role in international commerce.  


            In this context, PMI offers the following comments on the
IRT recommendations. In general, PMI applauds the efforts of the IRT and
understands that it will not be able to please all stakeholders.  


1. GPM


            PMI notes that while it has use of its marks since 1960's,
members in 170 countries and trademark registrations in over twenty
countries, it is unlikely that the brands PMI or PROJECT MANAGEMENT
INSTITUTE will qualify for GPM status.  While GPM has generated a lot of
discussion, PMI notes that GPM will  protect only a tiny percentage of
trademark owners, comprised of the largest corporations. The impact of
the   new gTLD's will be much broader than that group.  so its impact of
the integrity of the DNS system will in fact be minimal compared to the
amount of attention it is generating. As such, GPM is not much of a
safeguard against the majority of foreseeable problems.


2. IP Clearinghouse, Pre-Launch Mechanisms, and Sunrise


            PMI understands that there are a number of questions about
how practical this will be, but generally supports streamlining of
sunrise paperwork.  


3. Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS)


            PMI generally supports a simpler alternative to the UDRP in
cases of clear cybersquatting.   PMI particularly wanted to express
support for this concept to counterbalance anticipated negative comments
from the community of domain name monetizers. The UDRP forces trademark
owners to spend $1500 plus time and effort and/or hundreds or thousands
of dollars in legal fees to take down even obvious cases of
cybersquatting, whereas the domainers face no financial risk whatsoever.
PMI also agrees with other commenters who have noted that if the form
becomes too standardized, cybersquatters will simply use general
comments to justify the registration, which will defeat the purpose.


4.         Post-Delegation Dispute Mechanism


            PMI is in favor of a neutral method to enforce compliance
with registry and registrar obligations. It is unfortunate that ICANN
cannot, apparently, be counted on to enforce its own rules, and that a
fee-paying system has to be set up. 


5.         Thick WHOIS


            PMI fully endorses a mandatory thick WHOIS.  PMI would also
suggest that ICANN, or its delegate, maintain a central WHOIS database
that allows reverse domain name lookup, prior WHOIS information, which
is not now readily and consistently available to trademark owners trying
to investigate abuses.  Moreover, PMI suggests that there is no point in
a transparent  WHOIS database if private registration service is cheap
and easy.  While there may be some political need for private
registration for protest groups in Iran, for example, existing TLD's
already provide sufficient opportunity to obtain a legitimate private
registration. Given the explosion of abusive use of private
registration, it should be banned for all new gTLD's.



Respectfully Submitted





By Janet F. Satterthwaite

Outside Counsel

Venable LLP




Janet F. Satterthwaite 
Venable LLP 
575 7th St NW 
Washington DC 20004-1601 

main number 202-344-4000 
fax 202-344-8300 

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