Phil Corwin Of ICA Appointed To Internet Committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA)

Phil Corwin of the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) has been appointed to the serve on the Internet Committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA) for a two-year term commencing in January 2014

International Trademark Association (INTA) is the largest group of its kind.

Mr. Corwin stated:

“This will allow me to bring the perspective of domain registrants and others into the Committee’s consideration of trademark policy on the Internet Committee for the next two years!”

This year, more than 3,200 members applied to serve on INTA committees so its quite a honor for Mr. Corwin and a great opportunity for domain holder issues to be heard in the largest organization of trademark holders and their lawyers

Internet Committee of INTA oversees some subcommittees including:

Online Use Subcommittee
Domain Disputes, Ownership and Whois Subcommittee
New gTLD Registry Issues Subcommittee
International Domain Name Issues
Governance Subcommittee

Current members of the Committee include

Fabricio Vayra Committee Vice Chair
Time Warner Inc

Andrew Abrams

Thomas Barrett

Paul D. McGrady
Winston & Strawn LLP

David Taylor
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP

There are 25 total members from around the world.

Its a pretty amazing accomplishment for Phil and a great sounding board for domain holders to get their issues heard among the biggest brands  in their world and their counsel.
As part of Mr. Corwin’s appoint he will be required to attend two meetings a year in addition to the ICANN meetings that Mr. Corwin already represents the ICA at each year.

Needless to say your contributions to the ICA are needed more than ever.

If you think the new gTLD’s and rules coming out of the program won’t effect you or your current domain holdings you should read the excellent piece on today on how new gTLD rules, in this case the hundreds of domains that can’t be registered in new gTLD may come block to exist exact matching existing domains including .com domains.

The list includes lots of two and three letter domains.

Congrats to Phil



  1. Dave Tyrer says

    Congratulations on your appointment Phil. I hope you will be able to advance INTA’s already stated consideration that ICANN did not fully consider the impact of closed generic domain strings on the general public:

    “…INTA believes that the public interest implications of ‘closed generic’ top-level domains were not fully appreciated by ICANN during the implementation of its New gTLD Program. For this reason, stakeholders have not had the opportunity to consider the myriad of issues surrounding this proposed concept… The issue of ‘closed generic’ TLDs potentially implicates trademark law, competition law and other legal considerations — as well as decisions of potential objectors to ‘closed generic’ applications — and bears careful examination and consultation with the various stakeholders who may be impacted.”

    INTA (comment 186, ICANN closed generics forum)

    Closed generics are self-evidently anti-competitive and contrary to the public interest. How could Amazon owning 76 strings in their entirety be in the public interest? I agree with AIPLA’s view that domains can act like virtual trademarks:

    “Domain names can function like trademarks as source identifiers. This will be especially so with the launch of numerous new gTLDs. Many domain name owners in fact use their domain names as a trademark. The view that domain names are mere addresses with no source-identifying function is a relic of the exclusive .com era. See, e.g. Image Online Design, Inc. v. ICANN, Case No. CV 12-08968, at 17 (C.D. Cal. 2013) (“the USPTO has recognized that ‘as the number of available TLDs is increased by [ICANN], or if the nature of new TLDs changes, the examining attorney must consider any potential source-indicating function of the TLD and introduce evidence as to the significance of the TLD.’…
    “For these reasons, we share the concerns of others that ICANN’s delegation of closed generic TLDs for exclusive ownership and control by a single industry player would be contrary to the existing accepted legal norms for intellectual property rights and may have an anti-competitive effect that is contrary to ICANN’s stated goals and policies…”

    Jeffrey I.D. Lewis. American Intellectual Property Law Association (comment 178, ICANN closed generics forum)

    In this light, how could Amazon being allowed to own every .shop domain, like and, not be against the public interest, given that “” and “” through their unique exclusivity “function like trademarks”? And thousands of other .shop domains. If granted, Amazon will have a de facto trademark on the term .shop thereby circumventing traditional trademark law.

  2. says

    Paul & Dave — thanks for the congrats.

    On closed generics, my personal view is that they are generally anti-competitive and contrary to the competition and innovation goals of the new gTLD program (I don’t think there’s anything innovative about a monopoly — and closed generics offer no ownership opportunities to domain investors and e-commerce innovators). As you probably know this matter is still undecided by ICANN. But the GAC has called for a general bar on closed generics unless they meet a high public interest standard, and my reading of the New gTLD Code of Conduct is that applicants for closed generics must demonstrate they do not harm the public interest. I don’t know if INTA will be giving this matter more consideration once by term of service begins, but that’s where I am coming from.

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