Trademark holders, unhappy with UDRP’s, a system under which they already have over a 85% win rate, formed a group, The Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT), which was given committee status by ICANN’s Intellectual Property Constituency “to give additional protection to trademark holders in the implementation of new gTLDs”.
If you want to see a list of members of the IRT click here.
The 68 page, IRT final report was released late Friday night. The committee which was suppose to propose “solutions” for protecting their existing legal rights wound up being a proposal, lets call it a wish list of new rights for trademark holders that have no basis in physical world trademark law.
For ICANN to adopt this would be for it to take on legislative powers and that would be simply outrageous, and for domainers the largest threat to their holdings.
The most important and problematic of the new proposals, is the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS)
What is the Uniform Rapid Suspension System?
Think of it as a UDRP on Steroids.
A cheap, quick take down process for trademark holders to not only file a claim against a domain, but a process which could cause a domain to be taken down and placed offline.
As you know, when a UDRP is filed the domain remains in the control of the domain holder (locked by the registry) until the decision is handed down.
Basically the domain holder can continue to use the domain until the decision is rendered and even after that if it “appeals” the UDRP to federal court.
So what doesn’t the trademarks groups like about a medium through which they have a 85% win rate?
For one the cost of a UDRP from a trademark holders position, costs $4K+ per complaint, between filing fees and attorney fees.
The URS will be cheap, $200 per claim. Each claim can contain multiple domains owned by the same registrant or different registrants if the complainant alleges they are related, up to 100 domains at a time.
The URS complaint will be a simple form, which will take only a few minutes to complete, saving trademark holders attorney fees.
So think about it for a minute.
A process where the cost, instead of being $4K+ to the complainant, goes down to $200, maybe as low as $2 a domain.
At that rate you can expect a lot more URS complaints to be filed than you ever saw under UDRP.
With a choice such as this, what trademark holder would ever file a UDRP?
And there’s the problem.
Trademark holders have basically legislated, by a this report, a new system, which will replace, for all practically purposes, the UDRP.
What happens when a URS is filed?
As soon as a trademark holder files a complaint (again its a short form) the domain will immediately be frozen by your registrar.
Then your registrar will notify you that a complaints been filed.
So to be clear, your domain will be frozen before you even receive notice of the complaint.
The URS will have to notify you of the complaint, after freezing your domain and you will have 14 days to submit an Answer.
They will e-mail you to your address on file.
If you have bad whois info then you will not get the notice.
“”””Notice first should be provided to the New TLD registry operator within twenty-four (24) hours of the filing of the complaint via e-mail at the address the registry operator provides to ICANN. Upon receipt of the notice, the registry operator should within twenty-four (24) hours freeze the domain name to prevent transfers or other changes to the registration.””””
The burden of proof in The URS, seems to shift from the complainant in a UDRP, to you the domain holder:
“””Each answer must include confirmation of Registrant details and a defense for domain name registration(s) and/or use that contradicts the
Complainant’s evidence that they do not have a legitimate right or interest in the domain name(s) (e.g., known by or authorized to use the name at issue or a claim that the use is noncommercial fair use) and that they registered and used the domain in bad faith as detailed and required in the Form Answer attached as Appendix D. In addition, the Registrant may allege the Complainant filed an Abusive Complaint on the form and
request the Examiner investigate these allegations”””
If you fail to answer in the 14 days or if your answer is deemed to be defective, your domain will at that point be taken down.
The domain will not resolve and you will not be able to use it. If you get e-mail using that domain, your e-mail will not longer work and senders will get bounced e-mail messages back. If the challenged domain is used as a Name Server, then any domains or hosting going to that challenged domain will not work either.
If you do file an proper answer within 14 days then the complaint and your answer go to an “examiner” who will “consider three basic issues, similar to the
standards for a UDRP decision, but requires a much higher burden of proof. The Examiner shall consider each of the following factors:
1. “Whether the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a mark in which the Complainant holds a valid trademark registration issued by a jurisdiction that conducts substantive examination of trademark applications prior to registration.
2. “Whether the domain name registrant lacks any right or legitimate interest in the domain name.
3. “Whether the domain name has been registered and used in bad faith.
A list of non-exclusive circumstances that demonstrate bad faith registration and use mirror the list stated in the UDRP, namely:
A. Circumstances indicating that you have registered or you have acquired the domain name primarily for the purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise
transferring the domain name registration to the complainant who is the owner of the trademark or service mark or to a competitor of that complainant, for
valuable consideration in excess of your documented out-of-pocket costs directly related to the domain name; or
B. You have registered the domain name in order to prevent the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name, provided that you have engaged in a pattern of such conduct; or
C. You have registered the domain name primarily for the purpose of disrupting the business of a competitor; or
D. By using the domain name, you have intentionally attempted to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to your web site or other on-line location, by
creating a likelihood of confusion with the complainant’s mark as to the source, sponsorship, affiliation, or endorsement of your web site or location or of a
product or service on your web site or location.
If the Examiner finds that all of these elements are satisfied by clear and convincing evidence and that there is no genuine contestable issue, then the Examiner shall issue a decision in favor of the Complainant. If the Examiner finds that this test is not met, then the Examiner shall deny the relief requested terminating the URS process without prejudice to the ability of the Complainant to proceed with an action in court or under the UDRP.
The IRT notes that the standard for decision is not the same as that under the UDRP.
Under the UDRP determinations are made based on a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., is it more likely than not that the required element has been proven. Under the URS the test would be based on clear and convincing evidence that there is no genuine contestable issue. If there is a contestable issue, the matter is not appropriate for decision under the URS and the Complainant should pursue a decision in a different
“””For example, if the trademark in question is BRANDXYZ for use in connection with computers and the domain name in question is brandxyzz.[gtld] and is used in connection with an abusive pay-per-click site, the site would be frozen. If the domain name is brandxyzcomputers.[gtld] and the record shows that it is a bona fide retailer who legitimately sells BRANDXYZ computers, the URS complaint would be denied.”
Ok so what they are saying that parked pages are immediately going to be in trouble if their is a complaint by a trademark holder.
If you look at the proposed complaint form, they have checkboxes, under “bad faith factors” “Sold for profit” or “Sold for commercial gain.”
Doesn’t every business expects to sell their products for profit or for gain?
Yet the IRT would make, making a profit a sign of bad faith.
Also note that unlike a UDRP you will not get the choice to have a three member panel decide the case. There will be only one “examiner” not of your choosing that will make the decision.
If you researched through all the UDRP decisions I think you would find that in 1 man decisions, trademark holders have a much higher win percentage than with 3 member panels.
“””Upon entry of a decision in favor of the Complainant, the domain name at issue remains frozen at the registry (meaning it cannot be sold, transferred, or assigned) for the duration of the registration period.
“””In addition, the domain name will no longer point to the registrar’s website, and will be redirected at the registry to a site hosted by the thirdparty
provider. The third-party provider will post a standard page on the domain name, such as: “This domain name is no longer active as a result of a Rapid Suspension proceeding. For more information, please visit www.[URLofthirdpartyreviewer].com.”
“””Similarly, the registry will update the Whois record to reflect that the domain name is on hold and unable to be transferred or used for any purpose for the life of the registration (including renewal by the same or related registrant).
Right to appeal:
“””The losing party may appeal an Examination Decision, relating to any or all of the domain names in the Complaint, in the following manner:
“”If the complaint is denied, the Complainant may initiate a proceeding de novo under the UDRP or in a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
“””If the complaint is granted, the Registrant may request reconsideration on the original record by a URS ombudsman on the grounds that the decision was
arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of discretion by the Examiner, or may initiate a proceeding de novo in a court of appropriate jurisdiction.
“””If the Examiner finds that the complaint was abusive, the Complainant may similarly request reconsideration on the original record by a URS ombudsman
on the grounds that the decision was arbitrary and capricious or an abuse of discretion by the Examiner.
“””A losing registrant may vacate the take down of its site by submitting, within thirty (30) days of the Examiner’s decision to the URS provider with proof that it has initiated an appeal of the Examination Decision with a court of competent jurisdiction – a court located in the country of the registrant or the
registrar, with authority to decide a case of cybersquatting or trademark infringement.””
Ok so lets summarize, someone can file one of these URS against you for $200 (or multiple domains in the same complaint). You have to prove the complaint is wrong. If you win, the complainant can still file a UDRP against you or file a suit in civil court.
It’s basically a free shot a $200 shot to get your domain deactivated.
If they win it great, if they lose it they still can go against you.
How about abusive complaints, like a reverse hijacking ruling?
“””If a Complainant has been held to have filed abusive complaints on three occasions, the Complainant will be barred from utilizing the URS for a one-year following the date of the last abusive complaint.”””
Of course the abusive complainant can still file UDRP or court actions, during that one year period and then get a fresh set of URS, in the following year.
However for a business that only has 1 trademark, there is no possible negative penalty they can face by spending $200 to file a URS.
So the next logical issue is who is a trademark holder for purposes of the URS.
“””Complainant holds a valid trademark registration issued by a jurisdiction that conducts substantive examination of trademark applications prior to registration.”””
So this would not just be for US trademarks but would allow trademark holders from many countries around the world to file a URS.
Even though the reports says these new rules including the URS are only for the new gTLD’s, they certain leave room open to apply these rules to all existing extensions saying:
“””It should be emphasized that the IRT was tasked to propose recommendations for new gTLDs and that the proposals contained herein are not currently intended to apply to other than new gTLDs.””
However, just like the lifting of the price caps on the new gTLD’s extensions, which existing registries such as .biz have already said should apply to them as if they are approved for the new gTLD’s, we will see trademark groups push to open this procedure up to any existing domain extensions as well.
If approved by ICANN this will represent by far the most serious threat to your domains.
Note that this URS applies to all domains regardless of how long you had them.
A trademark holder can go after domains that you registered or acquired prior to the trademark being in existence.
What can you do?
Join the ICA already.
It’s absolutely pitiful that you can’t come up with that huge $295 annual membership, not much more than the cost of filing one of these URS, to join.
Are you a businessman or just a guy making a buck off domains until something else comes along.
A businessman protects his investments, especially for $295.
The ICA has already filed a complaint with the Ombudsman for ICANN arguing the the IRT is an ICANN Constituent Body that did not comply with the Bylaws requirements for transparency and fair representation.
The ICA also made a representation in front of the IRT two weeks ago laying out its opposition.
The ICA will take the lead in fighting this proposal, as it did with the Snowe Bill.
Second you can comment to ICANN on this proposal.
The comment period is opened until June 29th and you can submit your comments to ICANN by clicking here.
Third, you can voice your opposition to this proposal to those companies that are on this committee that you might do business with.
2 Members of this committee are domain registrars.
Both Network Solutions and Godaddy.com have representative on the committee. Let these companies know what you think of it.
Lastly, you can join the ICA.
Yes I said that already, but unless your going to hire your own lobbyist or representative you can see that trademark holders are spending the money and getting results. The results came last year in the form of the Snowe bill and this year in the form of this proposal.
Simply put, you got the goods and they want what you got.
What are you going to do about it?
Rob Sequin says
Could the ICA have prevented this from new system being considered?
If not, why not?
If yes then why did they fail?
The answer will say a lot about the current state and effectiveness of the ICA.
David J Castello says
URS: U R Screwed.
The ICA is trying to stop this.
Before this report even came out, the ICA filed a complaint with the ICANN Ombudsman saying that the committe was improperly formed and violated ICANN own bylaws.
This is still pending.
Second the ICA made a presentation in front of the committee.
Of course the committee is made of up almost entirely trademark holders so they are not going to back down based on the ICA arguments and concerns.
Importantly they were made an are on the record.
The report was first published late Friday night.
The comment period is now opened for 30 days.
ICANN will after the comment period look at the comments and then adopt anywhere from all provisions from the report to just a few.
ICA representation will be essential in keeping this proposal from being as damaging as it is at this point.
I know that the ICA is the ONLY group actively involved in the process representing the voice of the domainer.
Keep in mind the ICA is operating with a woefully inadequate budget.
Also the ICA needs to have thousands of members, not just from a financial point of view but having the ability to claim it represents a large number of people.
The failure of the domaining community to support the ICA is a self fulfilling prophecy.
Rob Sequin says
Thanks for the reply.
So they are more reacitve than proactive?
How do these trademark holders (outsiders I assume) get a whole committee then the ICA stands before them to make a comment.
Why didn’t the ICA see this coming and kill it before it even got this far?
While it appears many frivolous domain stealing URS’s will be filed will generic investors be in trouble? If I own shoes.com how do you steal that from me? Generic term selling generic products or even branded products from manufacturers that have agreed to participate in an affiliate program.
Trademark cybersquatting and trademark typo’s and redirects should be taken offline. I mean when do these registrar’s take some of the heat. Right now on snapnames I can go backorder Micorosoft.com . WTF!!!!!!!! Bullshit, slimy business practices giving us all a bad name. Not to pick on snapnames or anything but I couldn’t help notice that listing. Gdad is guilty, most of the major registrar’s have sold and are currently selling trademark typo’s. They should be paying to defend honest generic domain investors. Cleaning up trademark typo squatters and sellers is long overdue. Ford.cm WTF. Reputable business practices; NOT.
p.s. Thanks very much Mike for staying on the leading edge of the industry. All of the information you provide is very much appreciated. Relevant and timely. Keep it up, please.
No one, especially myself has a problem shutting down the obvious trademark problems like wallmart.
Matter of fact I have recommended that steps be take to insure that these obvious trademark infringing domains can’t be registered or traded.
However trademark groups are not happy with stopping there.
They want to put in every trademark, famous or not, registered in the US or some other industrialized country to be granted the same protection.
Here’s the problem
Almost every word, phrases, 2 letters, 3 letter combination is trademarked, just in the US.
trademark on the word shoes:
Sure here you go:
Also “nice shoes”:
Almost any word that you have ever heard in connection with the word shoe is trademarked.
Sure people have been saying “those are “nice Shoes” long before someone got a trademark on “nice shoes”
and nice shoes is not a know product, but none of that will matter.
Hell even the letter “s” even has trademarks:
So the owner of the trademark (again could be a country other than the US) files this form saying the have a trademark, your using it (parked) to make money and they are in the game for $200 and your defending your self in a system which will have a higher than current 85% win rate for the trademark holder.
As soon as the committee was formed the ICA filed an objection.
BTW they were the only one to challenge the committee.
So if they weren’t around no one would have done it.
Let’s not look for faults with the only representation a domainer has in a sea full of sharks
“Almost every word, phrases, 2 letters, 3 letter combination is trademarked, just in the US.”
That is a huge problem. I remember reading something about trademark domain issues up here in Canada. I remember it was much harder for scum to steal a generic words and the judge basically told them to get lost.
The world is getting crazier all of the time. I am unfortunately convinced that domains are the last thing most people will be worrying about in the next few years.
Apparently we now own part of a bankrupt car company, American taxpayers and Canadian taxpayers. This thing called capitalism has devoured just about enough taxpayer money bailing out these “reputable business’s” and their overpaid executives. Corporate socialism is rampant throughout the world and is only getting worse.
If you have enough money you can make pigs fly so yes even generic words are at risk but it’s the best risk our industry has.
I did check the trademark search for shoes and found this.
IC 014. US 002 027 028 050. G & S: Fashion jewellery items, namely rings, bracelets, earrings, charms, chains, necklaces, ornamental pins.
WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM.
That has nothing to do with the domain shoes.com. As long as shoes.com is not selling fashion jewellery, rings, bracelets, etc. or using the stylized logo should be no problem. imho as I am not a lawyer, just someone that tries to use common sense.
It will be a problem if its parked.
If its an actualy site selling shoes then it will be fine.
Michael I have commented to you here a few times, if the ICA needs a lot of members have a $20 option, I even started a poll on Namepros where the majority said they had no interest in ever supporting ICA. Only a few wrote anything but the jist was they are just for millionaire domainers and not the little guy. So the talk can go on and on but I do not think you are going to see much support except from the big domainers like you and Frank and of course Rick left, and Godaddy and Tucows have never been members so it seems the ICA is not reaching people on all income levels. I think you are never going to get 1000’s at $295 a year, I mean people can keep writing posts demeaning people for not putting out $295 but its not coming and the fact the ICA is underfunded is baffling, just the millionaire domainers like you,Schilling,Day,Igal(Mrs Jello)and Ham along with SEDO and Fabulous and Thought Convergence and Directi alone should be able to come up with a few million on your own. This is not a knock at you Michael but I have tried to get the pulse of the smaller domainer and convey it and it seems that ICA is basically saying GFY $295 or bust. I think it will be bust.
Domain Investor says
If I owned and developed the site 5 yrs ago – TheDomainsSite,com, all I have to do is spend $ 200. to shutdown and possibly claim the domain – TheDomains,com ????
And, if the innocent domain owner had a couple scarlet letters (C for cybersquatter) from the past, I would have a better chance of getting the domain??
Sounds like we will spend a lot of time defending ourselves from frivolous claims.
If you get 1,000 people at $20 that’s only $20K, not going to get it.
The ICA needs funding in the hundreds of thousands.
Yes we support them and so does Frank and other large domainers but we are talking about $295 the cost of 5 backorders at snapnames or namejet.com.
We support the ICA to the tune of $10K a year or 500 members at your suggested price level.
If there were 20K domainers, $20 a year would work, but there just is not that many domainers in the world.
So when you lose a domain, on a $200 complaint, assuming your domain is worth more than $300, you just made a bad decision to sit by and do nothing.
Don’t like the ICA fine, send a few thousand to your own lobbyist or form your own organization and fight the fight.
It’s the do nothing, but give excuses attitude I don’t understand.
All domain holders will be busy defending their property, or just having it taken from them
Rob Sequin says
Thanks for your commitment to the ICANN issues.
I’m happy to say that Phil Corwin called me today to directly address my comments above.
He gave me great insight regarding the way ICANN operates and how these large corporations can influence ICANN.
I just joined the ICA.
Thanks for the motivation Mike and Phil.
Keep up the great work.
You can paypal any amount to support ICA. I had suggested a $99 option. While there seems to have been some frustration with the organization from some previous posts I had noticed elsewhere, it is still the best advocate we have. Send them any amount and tell others to do the same.
Philip Corwin says
Thank you, Rob, for joining ICA. It was good to talk with you today.
For the benefit of others on this thread, a brief summary of my conversation with Rob, responding to the questions he raised—
“Could the ICA have prevented this from new system being considered?”
No. The ICANN Board’s surprise announcement of the IRT’s creation during their public meeting on the last day of the Mexico City meeting in March was a fair accompli at that moment. You can’t block something that comes out of nowhere.
“So they are more reacitve than proactive?
How do these trademark holders (outsiders I assume) get a whole committee then the ICA stands before them to make a comment.
Why didn’t the ICA see this coming and kill it before it even got this far?”
We are both reactive and proactive (I’ll get back to that in a minute).
The Intellectual Property Constituency, the group anointed by ICANN to run the IRT, is made up of trademark attorneys who represent large corporations from around the globe. They have the $ and political influence to cause real problems for ICANN and its new gTLD project, so ICANN tossed them a means, in the form of the IRT, for putting some substance behind their trademark-based concerns over new gTLDs.
As for what ICA has done (and please visit http://www.internetcommerce.org for more detail as well as for new posts on key policy developments for domainers)–
We have been raising concerns about aspects of the new gTLD proposal since the initial comment period in December ’08.
We filed a formal complaint and demand for investigation by the ICANN ombudsman alleging that the IRT was operating in violation of ICANN Bylaws requirements for transparency and fair balance. We are still waiting for his final report (which brings to mind the saying, “Justice delayed is justice denied”) but someone had to call ICANN to account for providing financial and staff support (from your registration fees, people, the source of more than 90% of ICANN revenues) to an skewered group operating behind closed doors.
We presented our position in person to the IRT at its second and final face-to-face meeting in San Francisco.
And, going forward, we will file comprehensive comments on the final IRT report in writing, and (and this is a lot more important) we will be at the ICANN meeting in Sydney later this month where we will not only raise our concerns LOUDLY and CLEARLY in all public forums but we will also engage in one-on-one discussions with members of the ICANN Board as well as with other parties who are potential allies in this fight.
And this is a fight. And it’s not over yet. This is a process, not an event.
The URS is the biggest threat that domaimers have ever faced – much bigger than the dotcom settlement that sparked ICA’s birth, and much greater than the Snowe bill. It is a dramatic and unjustified erosion of your procedural and substantive rights to monetize your domains, and so long as there is an ICA we will be speaking out for our members. If it is adopted for new gTLDs then before very long it will almost certainly be the rule for .com and the other incumbent gTLDs.
With all due respect, I believe there is a mis-perception of the ICA based on events in the past, especially a past failure on our part to communicate what we were doing. We are striving to correct that. We don’t claim to be perfect, but we are working hard every day on your behalf against forces and wallets much bigger than us — and we are getting positive results.
So, again, thank you Rob — and thanks to all our other supporters.
good decision, thanks for the support & thanks for helping all domainers
Rob Sequin says
Thanks for taking the time to talk with me and to post here.
My $295 membership fee will be well spent… actually I should say “will be well invested”… in the future of the domain industry.
Keep up the good fight.
Michael I would not expect $20,0000 to get all the way to where we need. But it would mean numbers, and like you said and I always have thought you need numbers too. I am lost as to why the ICA would not want the numbers, its not like joining you get anything so there is a cost, so there needs to be a min membership amount.The $99 someone mentioned is not bad IMO, Bottom line Michael I hear you and understand what you are saying and I am telling you at the low to mid level domainer, there is not going to be 1000 people paying $295, I ask people all the time and have run polls on the forums the interest is just not there, so I guess I will stop talking about it.
I’ll support ICA when they take a loud and clear stand (with action to back it up) on domain name warehousing by registrars. That is, registrars (Tucows and others) keeping their customers expired names (after tasting them) for their own “portfolios” instead of releasing them to the available pool.
There wasn’t a peep out of ICA on this subject last year when the RAA changes came up for review.
So who do they really represent? Registrars or domainers? A group who purports to represent domainers would be screaming about this practice, and ICA doesn’t seem to be troubled by it.
The ICA has just posted their take on the URS and what they intend to do about fighting it:
Glad you posted on the Namepros thread. I think the question Pat asked here is a valid one, See I am not saying that there is not a need for the ICA but it seems like the talk is just give us money or you will lose your domains.
I think Pat’s question needs to be answered, I think why would so many domainers who follow Rick Schwartz like he is their leader, join when he left ? Why doesn’t Godaddy belong ? Tucows ? Other major players, start answering other questions besides, DO you want to lose all your domains, give us money now.
Rick left the ICA over one issue, however he gave the ICA a lot of money while he was in.
Tucows is a member of the ICA.
The bigger issue is that the trademark lobby is spending a ton of money which is why you saw the Snowe bill and why you are seeing this bill.
What is going to happen is going to happen.
It come’s down to a simple question, you want your voice to be represented or you don’t?
There are no guarantees in life.
You can try the hardest you can and sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t.
If you don’t play you can’t win
This is horrible news for domainers. My biggest concern is owning a generic dictionary word or an acronym that has many potential uses that a big-pocketed company will go ahead and use brute force to hijack it away from you. On the other hand, if one owns an obvious name like GoogleWebs.com then the trademark owner should have all rights to the name immediately imo.
Does this mean that domains.com can shut down thedomains.com if they get a
What happens in a case like domain.com vs domains.com ?
if this passes then i might file SO MANY urs’s against every corporate abuser i come across. it’d be worth 200 bucks to take down their offensive web existences, if only for a few hours or days. i doubt i’ll be the only one taking such initiative.
maybe icann.org could be the 1st?
lisa – even the so-called “obvious” names could in fact have legitimate uses and may, however unlikely in reality, actually be used in legitimate ways. even the obvious needs to have a fair and reasonable examination of the facts.
pat – the ICA cannot be everything to every domainer. if registrars management of their own portfolios is a problem for small registrants well thats the nature of marketplace. dont use registrars that do things you dont like – or take them to court. as i understand it the ICA exists to lobby on behalf of all domain owners against outside forces. they are our dobermans. internal disagreements between domainers of whatever kind, be they peers or not, is not and should never be the concern of the ICA.
to put it another way: dont use the dogs to attack each other.
It would make it much easier for any trademark holder to take domains away
Jesse Labrocca says
This idea scares the hell outta domainers. It should. Those that have large portfolios of typos and trademarks are going to finally lose the domains. How is this a bad thing? Don’t domainers want legitimacy and accountability in their ranks? Apparently not.
I read the proposal. It’s fairly well written and balanced. In no part did I feel that ICANN is setting this up in a way for overt abuse. I can’t see how the URS will be abused more than the domain registration system. Currently millions of TM infringing domains exist. Until they are eradicated domaining will be looked down on. Domainers should be helping to facilitate that not fight it.
I am hoping this gets passed. If I lose some domains over this so be it.
We have now published our comments to ICANN on this proposal:
maybe throwing money at a problem doesn’t always work.
you can pass or block laws, to presumably acheieve a desired effect, but ultimately, for a law to bring about that effect requires enforcement. and enforcement has its own set of complexities.
i think that those providing ad feeds should work to filter their ads into distinct, tm class-based categories and perhaps also by geographic market (there are more than few well-extablished businesses who rely on “geoIP” to deliver their services and their customers appear to accept it as accurate or “close enough”. it’s plausible to think arbitrators and judges would too.). there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding among domainers about tm scope. and tm owners may take advantage of that, through intimidation. maybe that’s why the uspto is acepting comments on “bullying”.
no one is going to take away your domains under something like URS without a tm-based justification to do so. and, individual tm’s are limited. they don’t cover every product and service under the sun, they may be localised to a specific geographic market and most importantly, tm law prevents them from intruding on the space allowed for generics. on the internet, that generic space is huge. do domainers really think anyone is going have the internet cleansed of all generics? internet users are some of the most intense bargain hunters in the history of commerce. there will be a generic market, no matter how active the tm lobby. consumers, a potent lobby in their own right, will demand it.
tm owners may be able to regain more of the full online potential of their tm’s through better enforcement mechanisms (and why should we oppose them in doing this?), but those mechanisms may be unsuccessful in encroaching into the territory of generics, no matter how much money tm owners spend.
tm’s are limited. why not learn to work around them? there is plenty of space “in the seams” (which is what some of the most successful domainers have exploited).