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Username: bezzant
Date/Time: Sat, August 18, 2001 at 5:45 AM GMT (Sat, August 18, 2001 at 3:45 PM EAST)
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Subject: Telephone Conversation With Afilias - Michael Palage

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        Synopsis of Telephone Conversation, Aug. 16, 2001

This is a synopsis of the matters discussed by telephone between Bill Bezzant, a non-trademark-holder ".info" domain applicant, and Michael Palage of Afilias, on the morning of August 16, 2001.  The purpose of this synopsis is to share helpful information with other ".info" Start-Up registration applicants through the ICANN public discussion board.

LAND RUSH - SEPTEMBER 12th:
The Land Rush (Start-Up) Registration Period is anticipated to proceed on schedule, beginning September 12th, 2001.  The domain names alleged to have been fraudulently registered in the Sunrise period will NOT be challenged by Afilias before September 12th, and will NOT be available for Public registration during the Land Rush Period.  The Land Rush will proceed WITHOUT these disputed domain names.  Only the domain names still unregistered at the end of the Sunrise period will be available for Land Rush registration on September 12th.   Any resolution of Sunrise Challenges by Afilias will take place much later, after the end of the 120-day Sunrise Challenge period.  Those domain names successfully challenged will be made available later for Public registration by Afilias.  The exact method of allocating these challenged domain names to Public registrants has not been defined yet by Afilias, but Afilias will take into consideration the pre-registration efforts that have already been made by Land Rush applicants.  Afilias will arrive at an allocation method which it considers "equitable toward Land Rush applicants".

"FACIALLY UNQUALIFIED" vs. "SUSPICIOUS NAMES":
The ICANN bulletin of August 14th says that after the 120-day Sunrise Challenge Period ends, Afilias will itself challenge any remaining Sunrise domain names that are "Facially Unqualified" (i.e. did not "on their face" qualify according to Sunrise requirements).  But the Afilias announcement of August 15th uses more general, less specific language, saying that "Suspicious Names" which remain at the end of the Sunrise Challenge Period will be challenged by Afilias.  Afilias intends to apply a fairly thorough analysis of Sunrise registrations, to extract a list of "Suspicious" domain registrations using various criteria in a somewhat aggressive manner, rather than a simple or passive scan of registration records.  Afilias prefers not to discuss specific algorithms it will use for its analysis as such discussion may hinder their efforts to successfully identify trademark imposters.  Afilias will NOT be able to identify 100% of fraud, but will successfully identify a very large percentage of the fraud.

MY NOTE HERE:  It will be helpful to Afilias for Public domain applicants to provide clearly organized lists of Sunrise .info domain names which applicants suspect to have been fraudulently trademarked, categorized by type of fraud, and with clear reasons why you believe the domains to have been fraudulently registered. Do not report domain names where there are NOT reasonable grounds for suspicion.   And do NOT send generalized objections to the existence of a Sunrise registration period (i.e. philosophic objection to ALL Sunrise domain registrations) because that is NOT an issue for further consideration in this process.  Lists may be sent any time up to the end of the Sunrise Challenge Period (i.e. 120 days after August 28, 2001). Email your lists to:  trademark@afilias.info

WILL THE SUNRISE CHALLENGE PROCESS BE MODIFIED TO PROVIDE REMEDIES FOR NON-TRADEMARK-HOLDERS WHO ELECT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SUNRISE CHALLENGE?  SHOULD NON-TRADEMARK-HOLDERS PARTICIPATE IN THE SUNRISE CHALLENGE?
There will NOT be any modification of the rules or remedies in the Sunrise Challenge Period for non-trademark-holders.  There will be little incentive for non-trademark-holders to file challenges, because the remedy from a successful challenge is only intended for other trademark-holders, i.e. to file a replacement Sunrise Registration for that domain name but not a Public Registration.  Although non-trademark-holders are not prohibited from filing Sunrise Challenges, it is not recommended that they file challenges because of lack of direct remedy coming to the non-trademark Challenger therefrom.

WHAT HAPPENS TO UNPROCESSED CHALLENGES AT THE END OF THE SUNRISE CHALLENGE PERIOD, ON "DAY 121"?
The 120 day deadline for the Sunrise Challenge Period is only a FILING deadline.  All new Challenges must be FILED within 120 days.  However, the Sunrise Challenge Process will continue running after 120 days, as long as there are still active Challengers for a domain name and there is not yet an authenticated trademark-holder registrant for the domain name.  If Day 121 arrives and there is still a fraudulent trademark-holder holding a Sunrise registration for a particular domain name, any Priority or Non-Priority Challengers who filed on or before Day 120 and whose challenges have not yet been considered, will still be considered by WIPO until all challenges are exhausted or until a trademark-holder registrant has been authenticated.  When the last challenge is exhausted and the domain name is still registered to one or another Sunrise Registrant, then at that time it will be further reviewed (or scanned) by Afilias to determine if Afilias should file its own Sunrise Challenge of that domain name.

SANCTIONS AGAINST FRAUDULENT REGISTRANTS:
The only sanctions discussed by Afilias toward fraudulent registrants are that the 5-year prepaid registration fees for such domain names will NOT be refunded when the domain name is successfully challenged.  Fraudulent registrants stand to entirely lose their registration fees.  (MY NOTE: Of course, those of us who have been paying multiple registrars for Land-Rush pre-reg fees on those same domain names have lost MUCH more money than this because of the frauds, and therefore feel a strong desire for "equitable allocation" of these domain names back to the Land Rush applicants at some time in the future).

END OF SYNOPSIS

    Bill Bezzant
    Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
    bill.bezzant@saipan.com

     

Bill Bezzant
Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands
bill.bezzant@saipan.com


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