First published in Trademarks & Brands Online

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently released a report proposing several measures aimed at preventing the abuse of the domain name system (DNS), including cybercrime, hacking, phishing, and malicious conduct. Four main concerns were outlined in the report. They were: ensuring that malicious actors do not run registries; ensuring the integrity and utility of registry information; ensuring more focused efforts on combating abuse; and providing an enhanced control framework for generic top-level domains (gTLDs) with potential for malicious conduct.

Trademarks & Brands Online reached to Finnegan attorney and domain name specialist Jonathan Uffelman for his thoughts on the report. He said, "Such measures are critical in assisting rights owners in their ongoing enforcement efforts. We would also like to see ICANN consider any steps that could be taken to ensure that domain name registrants provide truthful and accurate contact information, even where privacy or proxy services are used." However, Uffelman believes that the proposal doesn't adequately address issues faced by online infringement and cybersquatting. He said, "Although ICANN states that addressing issues related to website content is outside its remit, the scope of its review nevertheless could and should expand to encompass safeguards aimed at protecting copyright and trademark owners specifically. The current system places a substantial burden on copyright and trademark owners to police and respond to online infringement and cybersquatting. This burden is particularly troubling with respect to trademarks because if companies fail to adequately police their brand, they run the risk that their marks will be diluted or lost altogether."