Att.: Rod Beckstrom - New gTLD Programme - Draft Applicants Guidebook - Version 4
Comments on the Draft Applicant Guidebook 4 (DAG 4) We hereby take the opportunity to send our comments on the DAG 4. We are a global trademark owner, and our main brand is NILFISK, which is registered worldwide. Initially, we can inform you that we are totally against the introduction of new TLDs as long as the current system does not secure effective solutions to cyber-squatting and trademark infringements. ICANN still seems to ignore that cyber-squatting and all kinds of fraud on the internet is increasing in number, having extensive costs with no business value as a consequence. We note that DAG 4 proposes two rights protections mechanisms which in our opinion are not sufficient, viz. the Sunrise and Trademark Claims services. The Sunrise service exists in an identical form and the Trademark Claims service exists in a form where registrants have to declare that they do not infringe upon third party rights when registering a domain name. Neither of these mechanisms, in particular the Trademark Claims service, have proven sufficient to hinder or even reduce the number of domain names registered in bad faith. Both mechanisms are pre-launch, and to be post-launch a procedure is needed. The "matching" taking place in connection with the Trademark Claims service is limited to exact matches which is clearly insufficient as most cyber-squatting is not an exact match! A more thorough examination as to the legitimate rights in the registering of the TLD is necessary. DAG 4 provides for a difference as regards the trademarks which are recognized within the Trademark Claims and Sunrise services. The first service recognizes registered trademarks while the second service only recognizes trademarks that are registered in countries conducting a so-called substantive review or examination. There is no explanation for this difference which means that all CTMs and most national European trademarks are excluded from the Sunrise service. This is not acceptable and can cause many infringements. The Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) proposed in DAG 4 is also much weaker than the URS proposed in the IRT Report. It doesn't seem to be more rapid or cheaper than the ordinary UDRP and the domain name is only blocked for a short period of time with the possibility of perpetuating the cyber-squatting. There is no loser-pays mechanism which would be essential in a URS of any real value, or even a fee for filing a response to a complaint, and the burden of proof is on the trademark owner to prove that the registrant has no legitimate interest in the domain name. Furthermore, the URS is apparently only available to owners of trademarks registered in countries conducting a so-called substantive review or examination meaning that all CTMs and most national European trademarks are excluded from the URS. Again, not acceptable because it may be impossible to enforce European trademark rights. The proposed Globally Protected Marks List is not part of DAG 4 which is very disappointing as it would have been the rights protection mechanism that could have provided some relief for trademark owners of such marks. In our opinion, ICANN has not yet solved the overarching trademark issue. We urge ICANN to solve the trademark issue before any new gTLDs are released. Kind regards, Charlotte Munck Solveig Hove-Christensen Global Web Manager [cid:image003.png@01CB228A.7AF5EE40] Nilfisk-Advance A/S Sognevej 25 DK-2605 Brøndby Phone: +45 43 23 81 00 Direct: +45 43 23 82 07 Mobile: +45 29 29 18 75 solveig.hove-christensen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:Solveig.hove-christensen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> http://www.nilfisk-advance.com<http://www.nilfisk-advance.com/>& www.nilfisk-alto.com Trademark Manager [cid:image002.png@01CB2283.456B9650] Nilfisk-Advance A/S Sognevej 25 DK-2605 Brøndby Phone: +45 43 23 81 00 Fax: +45 43 23 81 89 Direct: +45 43 23 81 94 Mobile: +45 40 22 92 32 charlotte.munck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:charlotte.munck@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> www.nilfisk.com<http://www.nilfisk.com/> & www.nilfisk-alto.com This email and any attachments may contain confidential information and is intended only for the use of the recipient named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited, and you are requested to please delete this message and any copy of it immediately from your computer system and kindly notify the sender. Opinions expressed in this email are those of the individual, and do not necessarily represent those of Nilfisk-Advance. Whilst Nilfisk-Advance has taken steps to minimise the risk of software virus contamination, it cannot accept liability for any damage from any virus software or the like contained in this email. Thank you.