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.COM and .NET, meet .ANYTHING - Introducing the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program

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ICANN stands ready to accept applications for new generic Top-Level Domains in January 2012. The New gTLD Program brings with it rights protection mechanisms that may be of use to trademark holders seeking to protect their rights.

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.COM and .NET, meet .ANYTHING - Introducing the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program

  1. 1. © 2011 EHSchierman<br />.COM and .NET, meet .ANYTHING<br />Introducing the New <br />Generic Top-Level <br />Domain Program<br />September 15, 2011<br />Elizabeth Herbst Schierman<br />US Patent Attorney<br />CLE Presentation Sponsored by <br />the Intellectual Property Law Section of the Idaho State Bar<br />
  2. 2. Topics Covered<br />Terminology<br />History<br />Program in a Nutshell<br />Application Process<br />Rights Protection Mechanisms<br />URS vs. UDRP<br />Future Outlook<br />
  3. 3. Terminology<br /><ul><li>Domain Names
  4. 4. Top-Level: www.website.com
  5. 5. 2nd-Level: www.website.com
  6. 6. gTLD: Generic TLD
  7. 7. ccTLD: Country Code TLD
  8. 8. ICANN – The Internet Corp.
  9. 9. for Assigned Names and Numbers</li></li></ul><li>Terminology<br /><ul><li>Registry Operator
  10. 10. Operates the gTLD
  11. 11. e.g., Verisign, Inc.
  12. 12. Registrar
  13. 13. Services the gTLD
  14. 14. e.g., Go Daddy
  15. 15. Registrant
  16. 16. Operates Individual Domains</li></li></ul><li>History<br /><ul><li>Pre-1998:
  17. 17. .com, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net, .org, .arpa
  18. 18. 1998 - ICANN Created
  19. 19. 2000 – 1st gTLD Expansion
  20. 20. .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .pro</li></li></ul><li>History<br /><ul><li>2004 – 2nd gTLD Expansion:
  21. 21. .asia, .cat, .jobs, .mobi, .post, .tel, .xxx, .travel
  22. 22. 2005 – ICANN (GNSO – Generic Names Supporting Org.) Begins Policy Development</li></li></ul><li>History<br /><ul><li>2008 – 1st Draft Version of Applicant Guidebook Published
  23. 23. June 2011 – Program Approved
  24. 24. January 2012 – Application Period Will Open
  25. 25. 2013? – New gTLDs</li></li></ul><li>Program in a Nutshell<br /><ul><li>Why New gTLDs? - Diversity, Choice, & Competition
  26. 26. App. New gTLD = App. To Run Business
  27. 27. Eligibility:
  28. 28. Established Corps., Orgs., or Institutions in Good Standing</li></li></ul><li>Program in a Nutshell<br /><ul><li>App. Process In Rounds
  29. 29. 1st Rnd App. Window = 90 Days
  30. 30. Eval. Fee - $185,000
  31. 31. Total App. Process Time:
  32. 32. 9-20 mos.
  33. 33. App. Classification:
  34. 34. Community-Based, or
  35. 35. Standard</li></li></ul><li>Application Process<br /><ul><li>1: Apply
  36. 36. Window: Jan 12–Apr 12, 2012
  37. 37. $5000 to Register & get Form
  38. 38. Complete Form, Pay $180,000
  39. 39. Demonstrate Ability to Operate Registry
  40. 40. 2: Completeness Check</li></li></ul><li>Application Process<br /><ul><li>3: Application Published
  41. 41. w/i 2 wks of Close of App. Submission Period
  42. 42. 4: Comment Period
  43. 43. w/i 60 days of Publication
  44. 44. 5: GAC – Early Warning
  45. 45. w/i 60 days of Publication</li></li></ul><li>Application Process<br /><ul><li>6: Initial Evaluation (~5 mos.)
  46. 46. String Review
  47. 47. Similarity in Appearance to Existing TLDs or Reserved Names
  48. 48. Review of Applicant’s Technical, Operational, and Financial Capabilities</li></li></ul><li>Application Process<br /><ul><li>7: Objections
  49. 49. Opens: Posting Complete Apps.
  50. 50. Closes: ~7 mos.
  51. 51. Dispute Resolution
  52. 52. 8: String Contention
  53. 53. Same or Similar Strings
  54. 54. Community Priority Eval. and/or Auction (2.5–6 mos.)</li></li></ul><li>Application Process<br /><ul><li>9: Execution of Registry Agreement with ICANN
  55. 55. 10: Pre-Delegation Technical Test (~ 2 mos.)
  56. 56. 11: Delegation
  57. 57. Total Time: 9-20 Mos.</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Applicant Screening
  58. 58. History of Cybersquatting
  59. 59. Initial Evaluation:
  60. 60. String Reviews:
  61. 61. String Similarity – Visual Similarity w/ Probability of User Confusion Avg., Reasonable Internet User</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Initial Evaluation (cont.):
  62. 62. String Reviews (cont.):
  63. 63. App. gTLD compared to
  64. 64. Existing gTLDs
  65. 65. Applied-for gTLDs
  66. 66. Requested IDN ccTLDs
  67. 67. Reserved Names</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Initial Evaluation (cont.):
  68. 68. Identical = App. Can’t Be Submitted
  69. 69. Similar:
  70. 70. Existing gTLD: Fail
  71. 71. Applied-For: Contention Set</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Objection:
  72. 72. Grounds:
  73. 73. 1) String Confusion Objection
  74. 74. Confusingly-Similar to Existing TLD or Same-Round Applied for TLD
  75. 75. Standing: Existing TLD or Applicant in Current Round</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Grounds (cont.):
  76. 76. 2) Legal Rights Objection
  77. 77. Use Takes Unfair Advantage of or Unjustifiably Impairs Distinctive Character or Reputation of Trademark or Creates an Impermissible Likelihood of Confusion</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Grounds (cont.):
  78. 78. 2) Legal Rights Objection (cont.):
  79. 79. Standing: Rightsholder
  80. 80. E.g., Trademark Rights Holder
  81. 81. Registered or
  82. 82. Unregistered</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Grounds (cont.):
  83. 83. 2) Legal Rights Objection (cont.):
  84. 84. Factors:
  85. 85. Similarity
  86. 86. Bona Fide Acquisition and Use by Objector
  87. 87. Strength
  88. 88. Knowledge or Pattern</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Grounds (cont.):
  89. 89. 2) Legal Rights Objection (cont.):
  90. 90. Factors (cont.):
  91. 91. Applicant’s Use or Preparation to Use w/ Bona Fide Offering of Goods or Services or Info in Non-Interfering Way
  92. 92. Applicant’s Marks
  93. 93. Likelihood of Confusion</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Grounds (cont.):
  94. 94. 3) Limited Public Interest Obj.
  95. 95. Contrary to Generally Accepted Legal Norms of Morality and Public Order, Per Int’l Law
  96. 96. Standing: Anyone
  97. 97. (Quick Look for Frivolous &/or Abusive Objections)</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Grounds (cont.):
  98. 98. 4) Community Objection
  99. 99. Substantial Opp’n from a Significant Portion of Community Targeted
  100. 100. Standing: Established Inst. Associated w/ Clearly-Delineated Community</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Objection:
  101. 101. File with DRSP
  102. 102. In English
  103. 103. Burden: On Objector
  104. 104. Evaluation:
  105. 105. 1 or 3 Experts on Panel
  106. 106. Additional Statements?
  107. 107. In-Person Hearing?</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>Objection (cont.):
  108. 108. Costs
  109. 109. Filing Fee $1,000-$5,000
  110. 110. BOTHfor Filing Objection & Responding to Objection
  111. 111. Total: $2,000-$122,000+</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>String Contention:
  112. 112. Contention Sets:
  113. 113. Community Priority Eval.
  114. 114. Community-Based App(s). Get Priority
  115. 115. Scored – Need 14+ Points
  116. 116. If >1 C-B App. Survives, Survivors Go to Auction</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – App. Process<br /><ul><li>String Contention (cont.)
  117. 117. Contention Sets (cont.)
  118. 118. Auction
  119. 119. Bids in Rounds – Start Price and End Price
  120. 120. Continues Until 1 Remains</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN
  121. 121. Trademark Clearinghouse
  122. 122. Registered Mark Holders Can Seek Listing – Fees ?
  123. 123. Trademark Claims Service
  124. 124. w/i 60 Days of Reg. Opening
  125. 125. Notice to Registrant - Mark is In Clearinghouse</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN (cont.)
  126. 126. Trademark Claims Service (cont.)
  127. 127. Notice to Mark Holder - Domain Name Registered
  128. 128. Sunrise Period
  129. 129. Allows Trademark Holders to Register Domains or Prevent Registration by Others</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN (cont.)
  130. 130. Sunrise Period (cont.)
  131. 131. w/i 30 Days of Pre-Launch
  132. 132. Precedes “Land Rush” or General Availability Period
  133. 133. Notice to Mark Holder - Someone Seeks Sunrise Reg.
  134. 134. E.g., .XXX in Sunrise Period Now</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN
  135. 135. Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS)
  136. 136. Standing: Registered or Court-Validated Mark Holder
  137. 137. Against: Registrant (2ndLevel)
  138. 138. Registrant No Legitimate Right or Interest in Domain Name
  139. 139. Registered & Used in Bad Faith</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN
  140. 140. URS (Cont.)
  141. 141. Standard: Clear & Convincing Evidence
  142. 142. Remedy: Suspension of Domain Name</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN
  143. 143. Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process (PDDRP)
  144. 144. Standing: Trademark Holder Claiming Infringement
  145. 145. Registered or Unregistered
  146. 146. Against: Registry Operatory</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN
  147. 147. PDDRP (cont.)
  148. 148. Top Level
  149. 149. Taking Unfair Advantage of Distinctive Character or Reputation of Mark; or
  150. 150. Impairing Distinctive Charter, etc., of Mark; or</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN
  151. 151. PDDRP (cont.)
  152. 152. Top Level (cont.)
  153. 153. Likelihood of Confusion
  154. 154. 2nd Level
  155. 155. Pattern of Profit from Sale of Infringing Domains, &
  156. 156. Top Level Violation</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN
  157. 157. PDDRP (cont.)
  158. 158. Burden: Complainant
  159. 159. Standard: Clear & Convincing Evidence
  160. 160. Remedy: Variety of Graduated Enforcement Tools</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>RPMs Mandated By ICANN
  161. 161. Registry Restrictions Dispute Resolution Procedure (RRDRP)
  162. 162. Standing: Harmed Organization or Individual
  163. 163. Against: Community-Based Registry Operator</li></li></ul><li>RPMs – Post Delegation<br /><ul><li>Other RPMs Implemented by Registry Operator
  164. 164. Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP)
  165. 165. Implemented in 1999
  166. 166. Against: 2ndLevel
  167. 167. Registered & Used in Bad Faith</li></li></ul><li>URS vs. UDRP<br /><ul><li>Standing
  168. 168. URS: Holder of Registered orCourt-Validated Mark
  169. 169. UDRP: Mark Holder, Registered or Unregistered
  170. 170. Standard
  171. 171. URS: Clear & Convincing
  172. 172. UDRP: Preponderance</li></li></ul><li>URS vs. UDRP<br /><ul><li>Cost
  173. 173. URS: Lower (e.g., $300 Filing)
  174. 174. UDRP: Higher (e.g., $1,500+)
  175. 175. Timing
  176. 176. URS: ~Faster (e.g., Resp. 14d)
  177. 177. UDRP: ~Slower (e.g., Resp. 20d)</li></li></ul><li>URS vs. UDRP<br /><ul><li>Remedies
  178. 178. URS: Suspended Domain
  179. 179. UDRP: Transfer Available
  180. 180. URS – Only for New gTLDs (?)</li></li></ul><li>Future Outlook<br /><ul><li>First New gTLDs Late 2012 or Early 2013
  181. 181. Estimated 200-300 TLDs Delegated Annually
  182. 182. (No More than 1000)</li></li></ul><li>Future Outlook<br /><ul><li>Potential Cons for TM Holders
  183. 183. More Land for Squatters
  184. 184. More Options for Infringers
  185. 185. More to Monitor
  186. 186. More Expense
  187. 187. Objections
  188. 188. Clearinghouse Fees
  189. 189. Sunrise Period Fees</li></li></ul><li>Future Outlook<br /><ul><li>Potential Pros for TM Holders
  190. 190. More Marketing Flexibility
  191. 191. Another TM Search Tool
  192. 192. Clearinghouse Data
  193. 193. Avoid Unintentional Infringement
  194. 194. Clearinghouse Notice</li></li></ul><li>Future Outlook<br /><ul><li>Potential Pros for TM Holders
  195. 195. Early Detection of Infringement by Others
  196. 196. Notice of Reg. of Domains
  197. 197. Willful Infringement Evidence
  198. 198. TM Claims Service Not.
  199. 199. Permanent Blockage of Unwanted Domains</li></li></ul><li>Future Outlook<br /><ul><li>Steps for Trademark Holders
  200. 200. Monitor Complete gTLD Apps.
  201. 201. File Objections
  202. 202. Register with Clearinghouses
  203. 203. Register Marks
  204. 204. Plain Word vs. Design Marks
  205. 205. Consider URS for Clear-Cut Cybersquatting or Infringement</li></li></ul><li>QUESTIONS ?<br />Elizabeth Herbst Schierman<br />US Patent Attorney<br />www.linkedin.com/in/EHSchierman<br />© 2011 EHSchierman<br />

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