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"Whois" System

  • To: <whois-comments-2007@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: "Whois" System
  • From: "Janella Barr" <Janella@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 15:21:21 -0000

We are trade mark attorneys and register trade marks in all countries of
the world, but particularly the United Kingdom and the European
Community.   We also act on behalf of our clients in protecting their
trade mark rights.   Our clients range from large multi-national
companies through to sole traders, and in addition to commercial
enterprises, we act for government bodies, charities and authors.  These
include all types of individuals and organisations that have an active
presence on the Internet.  Consequently, we are frequently drawn into
disputes where parties are mis-using our clients' trade marks on the
Internet, whether by the fact of abusive domain name registrations or
merely by the provision of counterfeit and infringing goods and
services.  Although we are acting on behalf of the registered
proprietors of trade marks, in our view, it is essential for the
protection of the general public that trade mark owners are able to
prevent the misuse of their trade marks which misleads and harms the
general public.  
To carry out this work in tracing misuse of trade marks on behalf of our
clients, we frequently make reference to the "Whois" details that are
available.  We therefore believe it would be very detrimental, not only
to commercial organisations, but also to consumers, if the entire
"Whois" system for general top level domain names were to be abolished.

We would also be against the restriction of the information available on
the "Whois" database for similar reasons.
We are not aware of the circumstances in which this information may be
abused, but we can confirm that we do routinely make legitimate use of
the "Whois" data.   For example, we use this information as a tool for
identifying the supplier of goods and services so as to verify whether
these are provided from an undertaking connected with the registered
owner of the trade mark.  We would thus strongly urge ICANN to undertake
further investigations regarding the circumstances of use of the "Whois"
data before making any changes to the current system (ie Motion 2 for
consideration at the GNSO Council meeting tomorrow).
If we can provide any further information in that respect, please do
contact us.
Wildbore House
361 Liverpool Road
London N1 1NL
Tel: 020 7607 7312 Int: +44 (0)20 7607 7312
Fax: 020 7609 9062 Int: +44 (0)20 7609 9062

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