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URS Comments

  • To: urs-15feb10@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: URS Comments
  • From: Jon Nevett <jon@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 1 Apr 2010 13:16:10 -0400

I would like to extend my support for the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) 
procedure as outlined by the ICANN staff.  The URS is an important rights 
protection measure that was supported by both the Implementation Recommendation 
Team (IRT) and the Special Trademark Issues (STI) group.  When faced with a 
clear case of trademark abuse, the URS will be an important tool for trademark 
holders to use in protecting their trademarks.  

We should remember that ICANN staff's previous version of the URS was not 
mandatory on New TLD registries.  Many found the voluntary nature of the URS to 
be very objectionable.  Others thought that there were insufficient protections 
for non-infringing registrants who might be faced with complaints by 
over-zealous trademark holders.  These issues were discussed by a group of 
volunteers from a cross-section of the GNSO called the STI.  The STI reached 
consensus on the URS, and the URS received unanimous approval of the GNSO 
Council.  The proposed procedure is a compromise between these various sectors 
of the community.  As true with every compromise, not everyone will be happy 
with every aspect of the procedure, but overall the community has gotten 
together to reach an accord.  

The loudest criticism I have heard about the URS is that a successful URS 
complaint would result in a suspension of the domain name instead of a transfer 
to the complaining party -- the remedy afforded to a successful UDRP 
complainant.  I agree with the consensus position of the IRT and the STI on 
this point.  If the URS and the UDRP resulted in the same remedy, there would 
be no need to have both processes.  The URS is intended to be a less expensive 
process than the UDRP to 'suspend" clearly infringing domain names on an 
expedited basis.  It would be another arrow in the quiver of trademark holders 
to be used to protect their marks.  I agree with the trademark experts who 
served on the IRT that a trademark holder should have a choice of whether to 
seek a URS suspension or a UDRP transfer.  The remedies for the two procedures 
should remain distinct.  As a matter of compromise, however, the STI 
recommended and ICANN adopted in its proposal a procedure whereby a successful 
complainant could add a year to the suspended registration, thereby giving it 
time to try to secure the name and preventing another cybersquatter from 
getting the name.  

The ICANN community has worked hard to achieve an important scheme of trademark 
protections in the upcoming round of New TLDs, including a procedure for 
objections to applications for infringing top level names, a thick Whois 
requirement, the URS, the Trademark Clearinghouse, a mandatory Trademark Claims 
or Sunrise process, and a Post Delegation Dispute Resolution Process.  All of 
these will make New TLDs a much safer place for trademarks than existing gTLDs 
and ccTLDs.  In my opinion after some tweaks to the Clearinghouse and PDDRP, 
the trademark overarching issue should be considered resolved.


Jonathon L. Nevett
President, Domain Dimensions, LLC

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