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EnCirca comments on IRT Final Report

  • To: <irt-final-report@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: EnCirca comments on IRT Final Report
  • From: "t b" <tbarrett@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 5 Jul 2009 08:20:23 -0700

<DIV style="font-family:Arial, sans-serif; font-size:10pt;"><FONT 
size="2"><SPAN style="font-family: Arial,sans-serif;"><BR>EnCirca would like to 
thank the IRT team for their extensive report regarding new Rights Protection 
Mechanisms for Intellectual Property Owners.&nbsp; We also appreciate the 
opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions on the next steps in the IRT 
process.<BR><BR>We have these specific comments regarding the IP 
Clearinghouse:<BR><BR>1. The IP Clearinghouse should be accessible by the 
public.<BR><BR>The IP Clearinghouse has the potential to become a valuable 
asset for the public internet.&nbsp; Processes should be defined to allow 
various stakeholder groups to propose new services and new uses of the 
data.&nbsp; On page 13 of the report, there is proposed language that "Access 
to, and use of such data must be restricted to trademark owners, ICANN, gtld 
registries and registrars....&nbsp; <BR><BR>We disagree.&nbsp; This restriction 
may have the unintended side-effects of restricting consumer options for self 
research and protecting legacy service providers.&nbsp; This restriction denies 
the consumer the benefits of accessing this database directly, for example, to 
ensure they do not infringe on trademarks and other rights related to their 
personal internet usage.<BR><BR>There should be free public access to the IP 
Clearinghouse, similar to that provided by the US Patent and Trademark Office 
for the US Registered trademark database.&nbsp; At a minimum, there should be a 
free public access similar to a web based registry whois.<BR><BR>In addition, 
there should be a defined process for various ICANN stakeholder groups to 
initiate study groups or new policy development processes focused on the IP 
Clearinghouse for new services that could benefit the common 
good.<BR><BR>Specific concerns on mis-use of the data should be addressed in a 
way that does not limit future approved and legitimate uses of the 
data.<BR><BR>2. Open Competitive Tender should be truly open.<BR><BR>A 
significant effort will be required to develop the IP Clearinghouse within a 
time frame that does not delay the introduction of new gtlds.&nbsp; On page 15, 
there is a comment that the "Forerunners of the IP Clearinghouse have been used 
by validation agents in TLD launches since 2005".&nbsp;&nbsp; However, I would 
caution those who think that existing solutions are already "sitting on the 
shelf" for the IP Clearinghouse.&nbsp; Earlier in my career, I was responsible 
for developing a new generation trademark search platform for the world's 
largest trademark research provider.&nbsp; With all respect, considering the 
one-off validation effort for a single TLD sunrise period as the forerunner to 
the IP Clearinghouse is a bit like saying the Commodore-64 computer is a 
forerunner of the Cray Supercomputer.&nbsp; The scale and complexity of the IP 
Clearinghouse dwarfs any TLD Sunrise effort we have seen to date.<BR><BR>On 
page 14, in the first bullet, it says the "contract should be awarded on the 
basis of an open, competitive tender.&nbsp; Unfortunately, the second bullet 
dilutes this statement by restricting bids from a provider "that is not 
currently in a direct contractual relationship with ICANN to provide domain 
name registration services, including that of a gtld registry, registrar or 
other technical provider of domain name services to a gtld registry or 
registrar". &nbsp; We would recommend striking this language.&nbsp; 
<BR><BR></SPAN></FONT><FONT size="2"><SPAN style="font-family: 
Arial,sans-serif;">ICANN's first priority is to solicit and then select the 
best overall technical solution for the IP Clearinghouse.&nbsp; 
</SPAN></FONT><FONT size="2"><SPAN style="font-family: Arial,sans-serif;">The 
key technical requirements are: time-to-market, scale and complexity.&nbsp; It 
is likely that interesting solutions could be proposed by existing 
ICANN-contracted parties.&nbsp; </SPAN></FONT><FONT size="2"><SPAN 
style="font-family: Arial,sans-serif;">The inclusion of this restriction on 
bidders would have the unintended side-effect of stifling competition for the 
IP Clearinghouse and could prevent the emergence of superior solutions from 
qualified service providers.&nbsp; ICANN should keep the tender truly open to 
encourage bids from the widest possible range of bidders to ensure receiving 
multiple proposals that satisfy the required large-scale technical 
architectures and skillsets.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Once the best proposal is 
selected, any issues of potential conflict by ICANN-contracted parties can then 
be addressed in the ICANN contract.</SPAN></FONT><FONT size="2"><SPAN 
style="font-family: Arial,sans-serif;"></SPAN></FONT>&nbsp; <FONT 
size="2"><SPAN style="font-family: Arial,sans-serif;"><BR><BR>Now is not the 
time to stifle competition and the possible emergence of innovative solutions 
on how to best implement the IP Clearinghouse.</SPAN></FONT><BR><FONT 
size="2"><SPAN style="font-family: Arial,sans-serif;"><BR>Thank you for your 
attention,<BR><BR>Thomas Barrett<BR>President<BR>EnCirca - ICANN 

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