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Comments in response to Trademark Clearinghouse "Strawman Solution"

  • To: karen.lentz@xxxxxxxxx, tmch-strawman@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments in response to Trademark Clearinghouse "Strawman Solution"
  • From: Jake Colvin <jcolvin@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013 17:19:52 -0500

Dear Ms. Lentz,

Attached please find comments in response to the November 30 solicitation
of public comments regarding the strawman solution and proposal for a
"Limited Preventative Registration" mechanism on behalf of the National
Association of Manufacturers, National Foreign Trade Council, U.S. Chamber
of Commerce, U.S. Council for International Business, and U.S. Telecom. For
your reference, the text is also pasted below.

Please feel free to contact me to follow up.


Jake Colvin
Vice President, Global Trade Issues
National Foreign Trade Council
Tel: (202) 887-0278 x2025 / jcolvin@xxxxxxxx
nftc.org / usaengage.org / globalinnovationforum.com

January 15, 2013

Mr. Fadi Chehadé
President and Chief Executive Officer
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA  90094-2536

Dear Mr. Chehadé:

We write in response to ICANN’s November 30 solicitation of comments
surrounding the proposed strawman solution meant to ensure rights and
protections for stakeholders in the Trademark Clearinghouse and the
associated proposal for a Limited Preventative Registration (LPR) mechanism
to enable trademark owners to prevent second-level registration of their
marks.  As detailed below, we respectfully request ICANN consider and
implement key modifications to the current strawman solution to improve
consumer protection and minimize confusion and potential fraud.

The Internet serves as a place for individuals to connect, learn, conduct
business, and inspire.  For business, it delivers a powerful tool for brand
owners to reach billions of consumers across the globe.   ICANN plays an
important role in preserving the operational stability and security of the

We are concerned that, if the proposed strawman solution is implemented
absent modification, it will provide inadequate protections to safeguard
consumers against brand confusion and consumer fraud, while forcing brand
owners to devote significant resources to protect their brands and
Several key enhancements to the strawman would avert much of this potential
for confusion and abusive activity.  Specifically, we urge ICANN to adopt
the following recommendations:

1.    Extend the sunrise period to at least sixty days and leave open the
claims period indefinitely for registration challenges.  This approach will
provide a reasonable amount of time for brand owners to register their
domains and react to third-party registrations that could be confusing or
deceptive to consumers and make it more feasible for brand owners to
monitor the hundreds of anticipated new domains.

2.    Improve the proposed Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) system to provide
an affordable and efficient means to halt fraud quickly and effectively.
The URS system needs to be fully functional prior to the launch of new
generic top level domain names (gTLDs), and locating a provider that can
deal efficiently with infringement at an affordable price-point is
critical.  In addition, rather than merely suspending domain names, we
recommend cancelling the subject domains or transferring them to the
trademark owner, along with easing the burden on brand owners in proving
ownership of their trademarks.

3.    Implement a Limited Preventative Registration (LPR) framework to
prevent suspect activity.  The best way to protect consumers is to prevent
consumer confusion and fraud before it happens.  Brand owners need a
protection mechanism, such as the LPR solution, to help keep consumers from
being harmed.  In the proposed strawman, brand owners must monitor the
launch of domains one-by-one to prevent second-level registration of domain
names that match their trademarks – and, at that point, there is only so
much a brand owner can do to remedy the harm from any wrongdoing that is
uncovered.  Given the expected surge in domains, such an undertaking is
difficult and resource-intensive.  A well-crafted LPR framework would allow
brand owners to protect consumers en masse while also including appropriate
safeguards for registrants with a legitimate right or interest.

Taken together, these changes will more effectively protect consumers and
provide our members with the tools to safeguard the trusted brands they
have worked diligently to build.

To the extent that any of the above recommendations require consultation
via ICANN’s Policy Development Process (PDP), we respectfully request that
ICANN initiate quickly an expedited process under the PDP to consider them.

We appreciate this opportunity to provide feedback on the Trademark
Clearinghouse implementation.  ICANN is in a position to prevent
cybersquatting, typosquatting and other forms of trademark abuse and
consumer fraud by equipping the gTLD program with more meaningful
safeguards, ensuring the stable and secure operation of the Internet.
Thank you for your consideration of these comments.


National Association of Manufacturers
National Foreign Trade Council
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Council for International Business
U.S. Telecom

Attachment: 2013-01-15 - ICANN Letter - Final.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

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