ICANN just opened up the comment period on a the IPC/BC proposal for Improvements and Enhancements to the RPMs for new gTLDs [PDF, 68 KB].

Out of discussions evaluating the merits of these recommendations, the group produced at a strawman solution to address the concerns of affected stakeholders.

This strawman solution is being posted for public comment.

Here are the points of the proposal:

Business Constituency and Intellectual Property Constituency Presented: October 16, 2012

  1. Extend Sunrise Launch Period from 30 to 60 days with a standardized process.
  2. Extend the TMCH and Claims Notices for an indefinite period; ensure the process is easyto use, secure, and stable.
  3. Complete the URS as a low cost alternative and improve its usefulness – if necessary, ICANN could underwrite for an initial period.
  4. Implement a mechanism for trademark owners to prevent second-level registration of their marks (exact matches, plus character strings previously determined to have been abusively registered or used) across all registries, upon payment of a reasonable fee, with appropriate safeguards for registrants with a legitimate right or interest.
  5. Validate contact information for registrants in WHOIS.
  6. All registrars active in new gTLD registrations must adhere to an amended RAA for all gTLD registrations they sponsor.
  7. Enforce compliance of all registry commitments for Standard applications.
  8. Expand TM Claims service to cover at least strings previously found to have been abusively registered or used
The most controversial of the new proposals is the one that not only gives trademark holder right to exact match trademarks but variations of those trademarks.

“”Implement a mechanism for trademark owners to prevent second-level registration of their marks (exact matches, plus character strings previously determined to have been abusively registered or used) across all registries”

So lets take Verizon for example so Verizon could register with the Trademark Clearing House and no new gTLD could be registered using Verizon.

So Verizon.shop or Verizon.Sale would be unavailable to be registered.

Fair enough.

But under the proposal trademark rights holders want to cover variations so Verizonphones, Verizonstore and plenty of more terms that are not trademarked would get protection.

Consider the fact that almost every dictionary word, three letter combination, phrase or saying you ever grew up with is trademarked and giving trademark holders the right expand protection to hundreds of other terms we think is overly expansive and will result in abuse by rights holders.

What do you think?

You can comment by sending an email to:

tmch-strawman@icann.org

You will have to acknowledge an email from ICANN that you want to submit your comment.






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