It’s Official: ICANN Wants The Proposed Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) Rules To Apply To .Com’s

Back on June 1 we told you about a new proposal by the IRT a group of trademark holders who have committee status with ICANN and their proposal for a Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) for all new gTLD’s.  In that post we told you that this was going to be a problem for all domains holders, including existing extensions like .com, .net and .org.

Today, in a very negative article on domaining,  entitled “Domain Name Wars:Rise of the Cybersqatters,  VP of ICANN Paul Levins made it clear that trademark holders and ICANN want the proposed rapid take down rules to apply to all existing extensions as well as the new gTLD’s which they have been proposed for :

“ICANN may be able to apply the new rules as existing registrar contracts expire, Levins says. “We may be able to retrofit the features that are in the new GTLD agreements to address abuse.”

The computerworld.com article goes on to say:

“the GTLD issue has intensified the focus on trademark abuse in domain names, and the matter now has ICANN’s full attention. So the GTLD proposals could be a catalyst for change.””

Domainers need to understand that your entire business model is under attack.  The article goes on to quote a rep of Verizon who says: “Even domain-parking sites that don’t include advertising are a problem”

Bottom line read the 9 page article for yourself and then join the ICA.

Comments

  1. Domain Investor says

    This scares the hell out of me.

    I wonder if Icann is siding with the IP lobbyist group so the lobbyist will help them with Congress. (or not block them.)

    It is well known that the IP lobbyist assn. is one of the most influential groups in Washington.

  2. MHB says

    Domain

    All regulatory agencies are responsive to lobbyists, that is why it is of VITAL importance that all domain holders support the ICA as they as the only voice we have in this process

  3. Patrick McDermott says

    The example typosquatting domain they show appears to be owned by Frank Schilling.”

    Andrew,

    Yes they included “Computerwrld.com” as the second example in the gallery
    but they fell short of actually claiming that it’s a TM infringement.

    The article asked., “Is this a legitimate domain parking site, or a “typosquatter” site, which receives visitors who misspell the name of the Web site they wanted to reach — in this case, Computerworld.com?”.

    I admit I was also surprised to see FS owned this.

    I checked USPTO and there are/were many TM registrations for
    “Computer World” and many are dead.

    Only FS can explain his thinking.

  4. MHB says

    I’m surprised just like you guys to see this one is owned by Frank.

    This is another one cited in the story, pretty bad one, Verizson.com

    But the flip side is companies using their “trademark” that no one has ever heard of, like “smooth move” to go after domains other own.

    It’s one thing to come close to a “famous” mark but trademark owns want protect for all marks famous or not.

    Considering almost every word in the dictionary is trademarked along with every 2 and 3 letter combination, its a major problem for domain holders

  5. Patrick McDermott says

    “This is another one cited in the story, pretty bad one, Verizson.com”

    Yes, a bonafide TM infringement should be the entire purpose of either
    a UDRP or a “Quick Takedown” and not a generic word or words structure
    like “Smooth Move”, “Mothers Milk” , “Zero”, “Chilli Beans” and so on.

    By the way to avoid any confusion for anyone just joining this thread, “Verizson.com” is NOT owned by FS.

  6. jblack says

    If Beckstrom becomes the new ICANN CEO, one wonders how he will explain the false, incorrect Who Is information on his beckstrom.com. By the looks of it, its obvious a cyber-squatter is purposely denying Beckstrom Electronic, a viable commercial entity, its domain name. No worry, the new URS will solve this pesky dilemma.

  7. Johnny says

    @ jblack……that is hilarious, ridiculous and scary ! Bad Whois info …..what a sham. You shot him down with a Whois query and a post before he even started his new job!

    Beckstrom lists an email as private@private.com for Becktrom.com . Private.com is a porn site. Private.com is owned by Cine Craft Ltd., located in Gibralter .

    Oh sheeesh! Michael, your not kidding about us all needing to join the ICA. This is what we are dealing with…….ignorance with a biased agenda.

  8. says

    I warned the ICANN staff about this yesterday (the fake WHOIS), in the Adobe Connect chatroom. But, they didn’t do anything. Perhaps they’re not happy with the new selection, and by not telling him, seek to undermine him?

  9. says

    Oh, just a sign of good faith on my part to the new CEO, to get things started on the right foot.

    But, I guess ICANN staff didn’t care to warn him, as maybe they wanted someone else in the job (apparently there were internal candidates of ICANN who applied for the job, as was just stated during the live board meeting).

  10. MHB says

    Ok understood, however how shady of an Organization do you have to be to “leak” the top candidates name to the press, and then throw them under the bus?

  11. Helder says

    Hi everyone, i’m new in this industry, and some things are still confusing to me.

    Why are parked pages attacked by ICANN, and companies trying to take a domain away from someone? If i register and pay for a domain isn’t parking legal? Can’t i do whatever i please with a domain?

    Why are people with generic domains under attack? Can someone own a word as a trademark? I don’t how is it in the USA, but i believe in Europe, at least in Portugal where i live, one can form a company with a generic word, but you can’t restrain someone from using it, because no one can own the language. How’s it with the english language in the US?

    I believe wanting and allowing someone to own exclusive rights over a generic word is simply ilegal, and even if some governments allow that, it won’t last for long.

    I also think that if things continue to take this path, soon enough people will be turning only to cctld’s, and leave gtld’s to die

  12. Jon Schultz says

    If someone owns a big hardware store which they advertise, it is considered perfectly legitimate, if I’m not mistaken, for someone else to open a hardware store even next door to siphon off some of their customers. So I don’t see why typo domains should be a problem if there is nothing on the website which is intended to confuse people into thinking that they are at the non-typo site.

    I know that’s a position that may never be adopted, considering the power of the trademark lobby, but I think it’s a very common sense one that needs to be stated, from time to time, as a reminder of how perverse this situation is becoming.

  13. MHB says

    Jon

    Trademark laws for anything other than domains is considerably different.

    The only one who is there trying to prevent the situation from becoming more perverse is the ICA.

    We also as domainers need to get our own PR firm out to tell our side of the story, which several domainers are now working on including myself.

    We will need funding for this as well, so get your checkbooks ready

  14. MHB says

    DOTWTF

    Of course those we out and out trademark infringing domains, but don’t fall into the trap, because trademark groups are using those (worst & most obvious) offenses to change the law, to expand the protection for all trademarks, those famous and not famous and as i keep saying ever dictionary word, every 2 and 3 letter combo is trademarked as well as almost every two and three word phrases and sayings.

  15. Mark says

    SUGGESTION:

    “Famous” trademarks should be red flagged through a uniform database subscribed to by all registrars. The red flagging does not prohibit registration, but would clearly put the buyers on notice that they proceed at their own risk.

    Other trademarks that outwardly appear as ripe for conflict could be yellow flagged. Domainers must understand if they register, they’re on their own.

    All other domains would receive a green light so long as they are not used to intentionally (or through gross negligence) usurp the intellectual property rights of third parties.

    NOW THIS IS KEY:

    The green lighted domains would qualify for a mandatory “ip defense fee” in the neighborhood of a buck or two. This fee would build a common fund for the legal defense of domain owners who follow the rules but, nonetheless, end up as a defendant in a UDRP or trademark action.

    Sure, there are lots of hairs to split, but insurance carriers and title companies do it EVERY DAY. That’s their business. Let’s get the registrars talking to their legal counsel and to our legal/industry representatives and begin the debate. Don’t offer them an out before the issue is even considered on the merits.

    Believe me, there is a per domain fee somewhere between nothing and ten dollars that will get the job done. Let’s find out what that number is, and then let the domainers decide. Don’t make it easy to sidestep the issue without giving it serious consideration.

    So, now that one possible solution has been proposed, let’s collectively crush innovation and let the idea bashing begin!

    (because that’s what we seem to do best)

  16. Helder says

    This is just big companies wanting to get their hands on valuable domains without paying the right price for them, that’s stealing with the support of the law behind them.

    Anyway it all goes back to the same issue, how can any government allow a company or whoever, use letters or generic words as a trademark, no one can own the language, here in Portugal that’s unthinkable of, you can’t even register generic domains .pt, because that extension is only for companies, entrepreneurs and associations. I don’t know how it is in the rest of europe, but i believe it’s very similar to Portugal.

    If the US government allows something like that to happen to gtld’s it will be the end of it, because the world will stop buying gtld’s

    Generic words and letters simply can’t be trademarks, it’s simply ridiculous.

    There’s a guy in Russia who registered the emoticon :) (smile) as his trademark and he wanted to charge anyone who would use the emoticon, obviously no one accepted that, it’s a very similar principle with generic domains, no one can own a language, a word, a letter.

  17. MHB says

    Helder

    Having said that these trademarks do exist and the question them becomes is every trademark holder become immediately entitled to your domain?

    Under the URS if your domain is parked the answer seems to be yes

  18. says

    Mark that was one of the best posts ever posted IMO, something more than just join the ICA or kiss your assets goodbye. That is not going to work, domainers have spoken and most are not joining the ICA, so lets think of some other ideas too.

  19. Mark says

    “Generic words and letters simply can’t be trademarks, it’s simply ridiculous.”

    The Beatles have a publishing company that uses the trademark, “Apple”. So does a certain computer company. But the products they market are not apples of the eating kind – they are music and computers, respectively (and sometimes overlapping – but that’s the subject for an altogether different post).

    Helder, generic words can ABSOLUTELY be trademarks if they are not being used in their generic, descriptive sense. For example, I can open up a bar and call it, “The Office”. Unless the generic, descriptive meaning of “The Office” is understood as hot wings, happy hour and loud music, I am free to register, “The Office” for the appropriate USPTO category that represents food and drink establishments of this kind.

    In reality, the potential exists for hundreds of separate, noncompeting products and services to each register the exact same dictionary domain name as a Registered Trademark so long as the trademarked product or service is not described by the generic definition of the actual name used.

    And then there are famous marks. We’ll address that theme when we discuss the Beatles, computers and one very recognizable mouse….

    [Don't act on this information - Call an Attorney!]

  20. Helder says

    What i mean to say here about generics is, just because one company has a TM called, let’s imagine: Oranges, that shouldn’t mean that they have the right to own the domain oranges.com or any other TLD.

    That’s what i mean about generic words. One can have the TM but not the automatic right to the domain.

    And that seems to be what some companies are trying to do, even when the domain existed before the company.

    Thank you for your explanations

  21. MHB says

    Helder

    Believe me I agree with you.

    But there are decisions out there and I also promise you many more coming where that is exactly the case.

    Moreover the URS will give trademark holders even more rights.

    On domains that existed before the Trademark, holders are using the argument like this:

    “Ok you owned the domain since 2002 but we got our trademark in 2005 and notified you of it so when you renewed your domain in 2006 and 2007 you violated our clients mark, because we put you on notice that we had a trademark and you renewed it anyway.”

    Scary

    Join the ICA

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