In March, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”) held ICANN 43 in San Jose, Costa Rica, where many developments regarding the introduction of new generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”) were expected, although few materialized. This article highlights the current status of some of the top issues.
- Trademark Clearinghouse - An announcement is still pending on the provider who will serve as the “bridge” for the launch of the new gTLDs and potentially receive the longterm contract. Additionally, implementation details have yet to be finalized, including what can trigger IP claims notices and details regarding the proof of use filings.
- Red Cross and Olympics - Even with requests by the Government Advisory Committee to develop a method to protect these two organizations from counterfeiters and sham fundraisers, the ICANN Board (during a special meeting on March 28) declined to provide further protection and disbanded the current working group.
- Uniform Rapid Suspension - ICANN recently issued an RFP for this new service, which would enable a trademark holder to rapidly suspend a flagrant case of cybersquatting for $300-$500.
- Order of Processing Applications - ICANN anticipates processing over 2,000 new gTLD applications. The Board has determined that applications will be “batched’ for examination according to a secondary time stamp obtained by each Applicant. There could be lengthy delays in the examination process .
- WhoIs Review Team - With over 20% of Whols information deemed inaccurate, the Review team shared with the ICANN Board 20 strong recommendations for correcting the data. Various members of the Board expressed interest in developing an entirely new system. Final recommendations of the Review team are being studied.
- Conflict of Interest Policy - The ICANN Board is working toward adoption of a new conflict of interest policy for its members, many of whom have conflicts due to affiliations with registrars and registries.
- U.S. Dept. of Commerce IANA contract - The U .S. Dept. of Commerce withdrew its RFP for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (“IANA”) contract, which permits ICANN to administer the root of the Domain Name System., The Dept. of Commerce claims it did not receive proposals that met the requirements requested and intends to reissue the RFP after granting ICANN a limited six month extension.
The process for raising a Legal Rights Objection to a new gTLD has been finalized by the World Intellectual Property Organization.