Tag Archives: new gTLDs

Leading American MLSs Form Association to Seek ‘.MLS’ gTLD

One has to wonder where people get the ideas for new generic Top Level Domains. The latest (seemingly not thought through) idea for a new gTLD to be made public is .MLS. What does “MLS” stand for I hear you ask? At least I did.

MLS stands for multiple listing services, and supposedly 15 of the leading MLSs have got together to form the MLS Domains Association, a non-profit association of real estate multiple listing services, the sole purpose of which is to obtain, manage, and promote the use of the .MLS top-level domain on the internet. The Association has announced they will apply for the gTLD late in 2010 or whenever ICANN begins taking applications. If successful, MLSs will be able to obtain domains such as Maine.MLS, Chicago.MLS, etc.

“For years, MLSs and REALTOR Associations have objected to businesses referring to themselves as ‘MLSs’ in their marketing, when in fact they are not MLSs,” said Bob Bemis, interim President of the Association and CEO of the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service. Under United States trademark law, the term “multiple listing service” is generic; MLSs cannot claim exclusive use of it. “Our goal is to create a place, the .MLS top-level domain, where the web sites actually belong to MLSs, not to other types of business,” he said.

OK, so this is an American thing and maybe we just don’t get it.

So what would be the benefits? Well, according to their news release, the Association’s leaders plan for the .MLS TLD to deliver the following benefits:

  • Unique location of MLS data on the Internet. Use and effective marketing of the .MLS TLD only by MLSs will make sites at the .MLS TLD definitive sources of listings.
  • Key geographical second-level domains (SLDs) will be available to MLSs. MLSs can obtain common second-level domains (SLDs) on .MLS that have long since been sold on the .COM, .NET, and .ORG TLDs. Domains like Maine.com, Texas.org, Chicago.net, etc., were long ago registered by non-MLS entities. Texas.MLS, Chicago.MLS, and all other location and plain English-word domain names will be available to MLSs as SLDs under .MLS.
  • Better search engine ranking for MLS public web sites. According to some search engine optimization experts, sites at .MLS domains may receive higher rankings if consumers search for “MLS” on search engines. For example, a search for “new jersey mls” on Google would likely rank a site at “newjersey.mls” high in the results. Consumers might be more prone to select search results that have .MLS TLDs because consumers may believe they will provide more reliable information.

Anyway, good luck to them if they can make it work!

For more information on the proposal, see mlsdomains.org

Minds + Machines Says Well Positioned Ahead of GTLD Process

Top Level Domain Holdings, the parent company for Minds + Machines has expressed its satisfaction with the outcomes of the ICANN meeting held in Nairobi last week.

In a news release, the company says that restrictions on cross-ownership between registrars and registries will hinder the number of prospective applicants but benefit Minds + Machines.

This, Top Level Domain Holdings (TLDH) says, continues a trend of increasing the barriers to application for non-experts as ICANN adds additional requirements and restrictions to the framework for the introduction of gTLDs. TLDH is unaffected by this policy and the Board of TLDH therefore expects that TLDH will benefit from this continuing separation between registrars and registries.

And while the company supported the Expressions of Interest programme for prospective new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) applicants, the programme becomes irrelevant as ICANN nears the point when it says it will be ready to begin accepting applications.

ICANN staff reported during the Nairobi meeting that the fourth draft of Draft Applicant Guidebook is expected to be issued in June and be near its final incarnation, subject only to a final comment period.

Minds + Machines says they welcome ICANN’s focus that the main objective should be to speed up the gTLD process, and the intermediate step of EoIs is unnecessary if ICANN is close to resolving the final details prior to the launch of new gTLDs.

ICANN Board Votes to Defer .XXX, Appeases Trademark Holders, in Nairobi Meeting

ICANN concluded its week-long meeting in Nairobi on Friday 12 March with a number of notable and controversial decisions. The board meeting, the traditional final happening at its meetings held three times per year around the world, voted to defer a decision on the .XXX Top Level Domain and to scrap the Expressions of Interest Proposal for new generic TLD applicants. However they did vote to create a Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension System to protect trademark holder’s rights in new gTLDs. But the decisions from the ICANN board were given a poor mark by Milton Mueller writing on the Internet Governance blog.

The proposal for the .XXX TLD, for adult websites, has been resurrected following an independent review that was concluded in February. The review found the decision to reject .XXX was unfair and should be reconsidered. The .XXX proposal has been hanging around ICANN for some years now, having first been approved in 2005 and then rejected two years later.

Then in 2008 ICM Registry, the .XXX applicant, filed a complaint with the Independent Review Panel (IRT). The IRT, independent of ICANN but recognised in its bylaws, concluded in its report that the decision to reject .XXX was unfair and should be reconsidered.

At the board meeting on Friday the board directed ICANN’s CEO and general counsel to finalise a report of possible process options for further consideration. This report is to be made available with options for public comment within 14 days to enable the community to provide input on the board processes.

The report will be posted for public comment and then further consideration by the board at its 38th meeting in Brussels in late June.

Expressions of Interest Process for New GTLDs
The ICANN board, in a surprise decision to many, decided to cancel the idea of calling for Expressions of Interest (EoI) for new generic Top Level Domains. It was expected ICANN would call for EoIs to gauge support for new gTLDs. This followed the call for ICANN staff to present options for the potential impact of such a process at the previous meeting in Seoul, South Korea, in December 2009.

ICANN decided that the potential benefits of proceeding with an EOI were outweighed by the costs of potential delay to the new gTLD programme.

Commenting on the decision, Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO and president, said the EoI process would have “added another step, another process, another set of community discussions and debate.”

The implementation process for new gTLDs is taking much longer than anticipated with dates for when ICANN expected to be taking applications being pushed back several times. This has created problems for would-be applicants.

Also on new gTLDs, the board decided that there will be no co-ownership of registries and those acting as registrars for any new gTLD.

Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension System
In another development linked to new gTLDs, ICANN has agreed to establish a Trademark Clearinghouse and a Uniform Rapid Suspension System. The Trademark Clearinghouse is to be a means of protecting the rights of trademark holders in any new gTLDs that are created while the Uniform Rapid Suspension System is to be the process for suspending domain name registrations considered to be trademark abuses in new gTLDs.

“In forming this trademark clearinghouse, we’ve listened to our community about providing trademark protection,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN’s Chairman of the Board. “We’ve also adopted an extremely rapid process by which people or organisations can challenge trademark infringement.”

The board has asked for final versions to be developed for inclusion in version four of the Draft Applicant Guidebook.

Internationalised Domain Names and gTLDs
ICANN is backing away from the rule that any new gTLD string has to be at least three characters, voting in its board meeting to reconsider the requirement following public comment that this would limit the utility of Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) gTLDs in some regions of the world. A revised policy is expected in the next draft (version four) of the Draft Applicant Guidebook.

DNS Security
Earlier in the week at the meeting, the ICANN’s CEO and president, Rod Beckstrom made some controversial comments on DNS security.

“The domain name system is under attack today as it has never been before. I have personally consulted with over 20 CEOs of the top registries and the top registrars globally, all of whom are seeing increasing attacks and complexity of attacks and who are extremely concerned,” Beckstrom said.

However Chris Disspain, chairman of the Country Code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO) council, was none too impressed. Disspain called Beckstrom’s comments “inflammatory”, saying:
“Your inflammatory comments to governmental representatives regarding – in your view – the precarious state of the security of the DNS, have the potential to undermine the effective and productive relationships established under ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model.

“This could cause great concern among governments regarding how elements of critical internet resources are operated and managed in their countries.

“We suggest that ICANN work with all relevant internal and external stakeholders to develop a clear analysis of the current mechanisms in place to ensure the ongoing security of the DNS. As a first step, we urge you to share with us and other stakeholders the underlying facts or studies that originally led you to make your statements.”

An interview with Rod Beckstrom on the board decisions is available from:

Writing on the Internet Governance blog, Milton Mueller says he would give ICANN “an A for effort. But on substance? Give them an F. On the .xxx issue, the Board chose to ignore its independent review panel and refused to rectify what was officially determined to be unfair and discriminatory treatment. On the vertical integration issue, it issued a needlessly biased and poorly worded resolution that was an attempt to clarify things but probably did the opposite. True to form, the board devoted most of its attention to bending over backwards to accommodate trademark interests at the expense of market diversity, as most of the resolutions passed refer to various aspects of how to protect trademark owners from the horrifying prospect of letting people register names under new TLDs. And in response to complaints that it had set the fee bar for new gTLDs too high, the Board issued a vague instruction to its Advisory Committees and Supporting Organizations ‘develop a sustainable approach to providing support to applicants requiring assistance in applying for and operating new gTLDs.'”

For more of Milton Mueller’s analysis of the outcomes of the ICANN meeting in Nairobi, check out:

Minds + Machines Survey Shows Brands Do Not Register Defensively in New gTLDs

A survey of the domain registration behaviour of Fortune 100 companies conducted by Minds + Machines reveals that they have not registered many of their trademarks in recently created generic top-level domains (gTLDs).

In the study it was found a sample of 1043 brands were registered in less than 30 per cent of the eight new open gTLDs created after 2001. If historical registration data is a guide, brands are unlikely to undertake many defensive domain name registrations in the proposed new gTLDs, and furthermore are unlikely to be the victims of cybersquatting.

With the help of DomainTools, Minds + Machines surveyed 1043 brands owned by the Fortune 100 companies.

Their purpose was to discover to what extent large companies – which have been the loudest critics of ICANN’s new gTLD program – have actually registered their brands defensively in the already existing new gTLDs.

By counting which domain names had been registered, reserved, or otherwise made unavailable for new registration, they were able to see which gTLDs are either registered in defensively (by brands) or cybersquatted by malefactors. Where many names are registered (e.g., .COM), it can be deduced whether defensive registrations and/or cybersquatting is prevalent.

The data shows that brand names are registered as domain names 87 per cent of the time in .com, .net, and .org; just 67 cent of the time in .INFO and .BIZ; and only 29 per cent in .MOBI, .ASIA, .CAT, .JOBS, .NAME, .PRO, .TEL and .TRAVEL – the newer ICANN-created gTLDs where it is easy to register a domain name, and may be attractive to cybersquatters.

Overall, the claims of brand owners that they will be forced to spend significant amounts of money performing defensive registrations in the proposed new gTLDs is not supported by the historical data the study found, which shows that they largely do not undertake defensive registrations in new gTLDs, nor is there any extensive cybersquatting in new gTLDs.

The study also looked at whether new gTLDs force brand owners to register names defensively?

In a previous study, Minds + Machines found that the cost of enforcement of trademark rights in new gTLDs is likely to be small – on the order of $.10 per registered trademark, per year. The current study looks at the likely cost of defensive registrations to trademark holders.

The study is was in response to a vocal group of brand owners who have repeatedly claimed that the cost of defensive registrations would be “astronomical” and a “major burden on U.S. businesses.”

The Minds + Machines provide, using submissions to ICANN, quotes from trademark holders on their concerns using terms and phrases such as “astronomical registration fees required to protect trademarks across new gTLDs.” (Overstock.com) Other terms used include “staggering”, “a fortune” and “billions.”

Countering the arguments of trademark holders was a recent study by Paul Stahura that, according to Minds + Machines, definitively concluded that the answer was a definite “no”, by examining which trademarks (in general) were registered across COM, ORG, NET, MOBI, BIZ, INFO and US. Stahura concluded:
“The vast majority of trademark holders are not registering their trademark in all the current generic TLDs, let alone all the TLDs.”

Dennis Carlton, an ICANN-appointed economist, noted:
“… claims that the introduction of new gTLDs will necessitate widespread defensive registrations appear to be exaggerated and are inconsistent with the oft-noted observation that there have been a limited number of registrations on gTLDs introduced in recent years.”

As the report notes, these two sets of voices are completely at odds. On the one hand, the adamant insistence by brand holders that defensive registrations in new gTLDs are necessary and costly. On the other, equally insistent dissenting voices saying that brands neither register defensively in new gTLDs, nor do they need to. We attempted to look systematically at the data to try to determine who is correct, or if the truth is somewhere in the middle.

To read more of this study, including methodology and results of the research and analysis, see:
www.mindsandmachines.com/2010/02/survey-shows-brands-dont-register-defensively-in-new-gtlds/ and a PDF version is available from www.mindsandmachines.com/wp-content/uploads/Analysis-of-Trademark-Registration-Data-in-New-gTLDs.pdf

ICANN: Mitigating Malicious Conduct in New gTLD – Zone File Access and High Security Zone TLD

ICANN logoZone File Access Concept Paper [PDF, 260 KB]

Cost Model Information
Draft Program Development Snapshot High Security Zone Top-Level Domains Advisory Group (HSTLD AG) [PDF, 144 KB]

In one of many efforts to mitigate the potential for malicious conduct in new gTLDs, ICANN formed the Zone File Access (ZFA) Advisory Group and the High Security Top-Level Domain Advisory Group (“HSTLD AG”) following an announcement on 3 December 2009 (see, icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-03dec09-en.htm).

Zone File Access:

ICANN sought the participation of a diverse and knowledgeable set of volunteers to discuss alternatives for Zone File Access. The group was charged with discussing benefits and exploring methods to effectively and efficiently enhance access to zone file information in an environment with many gTLDs. The Anti-Phishing Working Group and others have described access to zone data as an effective tool for combating DNS abuse.

On behalf of the ZFA Advisory Group, ICANN is opening a public comment forum on the ZFA Concept Paper (the “Paper”) that describes standardized forms of access to zone file information. The Paper proposes four alternative implementation models for community consideration.

The Paper focuses on technical, operational, and administrative challenges for data providers and consumers in an environment with a potentially large number of gTLD registry zone files. Specifically, the work of the group targets consumer concerns relating to difficulties of accessing this important information in the new environment. For those combating DNS abuses, the goals of the program are to reduce the differences in and complexity of contractual agreements; standardize approaches; improve security and zone file access methods. Goals for gTLD registries include managing overhead related to zone file access and considering ways to improve service while maintaining administrative control over zone data.

The ZFA Advisory Group plans to conduct a workshop on its Paper and on-going activities at the ICANN meeting in Nairobi on Wednesday, 10 March 2010 from 12:00-13:30 UTC.

A copy of the Paper is available here [PDF, 260 KB]. The cost model referenced in the Paper is available here [XLS, 106 KB]. Comments on the Paper submitted to zfa-concept-15feb10@icann.org will be considered until 8 April 2010 23:59 UTC. Comments may be viewed at forum.icann.org/lists/zfa-concept-15feb10/ .

All documentation related to the work of the group, including an archive of its mailing list and MP3s for its teleconferences, is available at icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/zone-file-access-en.htm.

High Security Top-Level Domain (HSTLD)

The HSTLD Advisory Group meets regularly to build upon the concept of a security verification program for Top-Level Domains (TLD’s). Work on this concept was originally published for ICANN’s meeting in Seoul. For more information on the original concept paper, please refer to the following link: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/high-security-zone-verification-04oct09-en.pdf [PDF, 144 KB]. The HSTLD Advisory Group currently consists of members of ICANN staff and members of the community that have expressed an interest in assisting with the program as well as individuals who are subject matter experts in disciplines related to the program (e.g., security, auditing, certification programs).

On behalf of the HSTLD Advisory Group, ICANN is opening a public comment forum on the HSTLD “Draft Program Development Snapshot” (“Development Snapshot”) that presents the most recent materials under review or development by the group. Work reflected in the Development Snapshot is considered “work in progress”, as various elements of the voluntary High Security TLD program are developed.

The HSTLD AG plans to conduct a workshop on on-going activities at the ICANN meeting in Nairobi on Thursday, 11 March 2010 from 14:00-15:30 UTC.

Comments on the Development Snapshot submitted to hstld-snapshot-15feb10@icann.org will be considered until 8 April 2010 23:59 UTC.

Comments may be viewed here: forum.icann.org/lists/hstld-snapshot-15feb10/

All documentation related to the work of the group, including an archive of its mailing list and MP3s for its teleconferences, is available at the following link: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/hstld-program-en.htm.

Related Links

New gTLD Program: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm

This ICANN announcements was sourced from:

Norway Considers New gTLDs Such as .OSLO

A working group has been formed by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communicationsto consider whether there is a demand in the country for new generic Top Level Domainssuch as .OSLO or .TRONDELAG. The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority will chair the group.Norid, the registry for .NO domain names, will be represented in the working group together with several other experts and stakeholders, such as the Consumer Council of Norway, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office and Abelia – the Business Association of Norwegian knowledge and technology based enterprises, and the University of Oslo, Faculty of Law.The working group’s mandate is to discuss and advise on the need for more TLDs that are in Norway’s national interest, as well as looking at the management model should there be a demand for such gTLDs.

Madrid Enters The Race for New Top Level Domain

The growing list of contenders for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) has seen the Spanish city of Madrid enter the race with a proposal for .MADRID.

The idea for .MADRID follows the approval in 2006 of .CAT to represent the Catalan community around the world, but originally from Spain.

PuntoMadrid is interested in what domain names people would like to register and have a form where you can reserve your .MADRID domain for individuals, companies and distributors. How this works in practice is not known, but it could also help PuntoMadrid determine what are the premium and most wanted domain names should they be successful in their application.

.MADRID is, like .CAT is for the Catalan community, aimed at helping developing the unique cultural aspects for the city.

If approved, companies, associations and individuals in the community of Madrid would be able to register their name or marks with the extension .MADRID. Other Spanish initiatives for new gTLDs include .Gal (Galicia), .EUS (Euskadi) and .BCN (Barcelona).

For more information on the .MADRID initiative, see puntomadrid.org.

ICANN's New gTLD Pre-Registration Opposed by INTA

The International Trademark Association (INTA), a not-for-profit membership association of 5,900 trademark owners, professionals and academics, from more than 190 countries, emailed its members on 11 January to suggest they support their opposition to ICANN’s proposed expressions of interest (EOI) process. Continue reading ICANN's New gTLD Pre-Registration Opposed by INTA

ICANN: New gTLD Program – ICANN Proposes Draft Expression of Interest / Pre-Registrations Model

ICANN is publishing today for public comment a draft model for soliciting Expressions of Interest for new generic top-level domains (new gTLDs) [PDF, 192K]. According to this EOI / pre-registration model, entities interested in participating in the first round of the New gTLD Program are required to submit basic information about the participating entity and the requested top-level domain, also referred to as “string”.The model is a direct result of community recommendations for such an undertaking. The Board directed that a draft model be constructed based on public comment for additional discussion. A decision on whether to proceed and, if so under what model, will be taken after this round of public comment.The public comment period opens on 18 December, 2009 and closes on 27 January, 2010. Details can be found at icann.org/en/public-comment/public-comment-201001.htm#draft-eoi.The proposed model published today is not an operationally complete plan, i.e., it is not intended to include all the details that would be needed for implementation of a functioning process. Rather, it is intended to convey the detail necessary for robust public discussion. After the end of this public comment period, the ICANN Board will convene to consider the community feedback and decide on the path forward. A decision is expected in the first quarter of 2010. If approved, the final process and the opening date for EOI will be published.Highlights of the draft EOI / pre-registration model:* Participation in the EOI is mandatory for eligibility to submit a gTLD application in the first round. Subsequent application rounds will be open to any eligible applicants.
* A deposit of US$55,000 is required for the EOI, and will be used as a credit against the US$185,000 evaluation fee.
* The deposit is refundable if the New gTLD Program does not launch within a specific time period. Details will be outlined in the final EOI model.
* Participants are notified that there may be subsequent amendments to the Draft Applicant Guidebook. It is the intention to conclude many current open issues prior to initiation of the EOI process.
* A fully executed communications campaign, intended to ensure global awareness about the EOI, will precede the opening of the process.
* Participants will be required to provide specific information concerning the participating entity and the requested string.
* The participant and string information will be made public.
* The EOI launch is conditional on the conclusion of many of the outstanding issues, for example, issues concerning vertical separation and the IDN three-character string requirements. Solutions for these and other issues are expected to be included in the Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 4.Below is a short Q&A regarding the proposed EOI draft model. For details, please refer to the icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/eoi-model-18dec09-en.pdf [PDF, 192K].What is the value in conducting an EOI / pre-registration process?An EOI process could provide ICANN and the Internet community important information that will contribute to a better understanding of, for example: the economic demand for new gTLDs; the number and kind of strings requested; certainty as to root-zone delegation rates; and inform the program’s operational readiness plan. It is also believed that the draft EOI model may assist with the resolution of outstanding issues.The impetus for publishing an EOI model began at the ICANN Seoul Meeting where a significant number of community members expressed interest in evaluating a process that calls for “expressions of interest” from organizations that have a serious interest in applying for a new gTLD. The Board subsequently directed staff to develop a model, and in order to facilitate consideration of these issues, staff posted a set of conceptual questions relating to the EOI for community feedback. The analysis of these comments helped in the development of the current proposed model.Are there any pre-conditions for the launch of the EOI?Yes, if the Board approves this path forward, there are a few pre-conditions to the EOI launch, for example: t he resolution on issues regarding vertical separation of registries and registrars; resolution on the three-character string requirements; the publication of Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 4; the execution of a communication campaign that will work to ensure that all parties wishing to participate are knowledgeable of the opportunity.How does the EOI impact the continuing development of the program?ICANN and the community continue to work on the program’s development and the resolution of open issues, including the next iteration of the Draft Applicant Guidebook, and the program’s operational readiness.Who can participate in the EOI process?As outlined in the Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 3, any public or private organization from any part of the world can apply. As described above, certain key provisions that significantly affect an entity’s ability to participate would have to be settled prior to the EOI launch.When will the EOI application period open?The ICANN Board will be considering the draft EOI model and the community feedback during its meeting in February, 2010. If the Board decides that this is the path forward, staff will publish the final model along with instructions for a specific launch date.How will EOI applications be submitted?Entities will be able to apply on-line. ICANN will use the TLD Application System (TAS) that is already in development for the program. The TAS system will be accessed through ICANN’s website.What information will be required from participating entities?The proposed draft model requires participants to answer questions 1 through 14, which are currently outlined in the Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 3: Evaluation Questions and Criteria (icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/draft-evaluation-criteria-clean-04oct09-en.pdf [PDF, 741K]). These include: contact information of the participating entity; proof of legal establishment and good standing; disclosures concerning the participant’s background, and; the requested string and associated IDN information, if applicable.Can an entity that does not participate in the EOI still be eligible to apply when the New gTLD Program officially launches?Yes, but not in the first round. According to the proposed draft model, participation in the EOI is mandatory for eligibility in the first new gTLD application round. There will be future opportunities to apply, however, the dates are not yet available.Why is a deposit required and how was the US$55,000 determined?One of the objectives of the EOI process is to generate data that will drive validation of implementation work and operational readiness. The deposit is one means of giving weight to the process and the submissions. Absent a deposit of a sufficient amount, participants could provide false or misleading information, which would undermine the reliability of the data to be used for the purposes intended.The proposed US$55,000 EOI deposit is the non-refundable portion of the evaluation fee (currently US$185,000 as per Draft Applicant Guidebook, version 3). This amount strikes a balance between two negative outcomes, that a low amount could result in speculation and a high amount could be a barrier to entry. The US$55,000 deposit is would be considered as a credit against the eventual fee that accompanies submission of an application.Is the deposit refundable?Under the current proposed draft model, the US$55,000 deposit is non-refundable, except in specified, limited circumstances, for example, if the first application round does not start within a defined time period (currently, 18 months from the closing date of the EOI submission period).What happens to the EOI information collected by ICANN?ICANN plans to publish on its website the information collected from the participants along with the requested strings submitted during the EOI.Related Resources :

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:

ICANN: Public Comment: STI Report on Trademark Protection in New gTLDs

ICANN logoThe Special Trademarks Issues Working Team (STI) has published its Report on its recommendations to create a Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension procedure to protect trademarks in the New GTLD Program. The public comment period ends on 26 January 2010.

Special Trademark Issues Review Team Recommendations [PDF, 404K]

You can also find this report at gnso.icann.org/issues/.


On 12 October 2009, the ICANN Board sent a letter [PDF, 736K] to the GNSO requesting its review of the policy implications of certain trademark protection mechanisms proposed for the New gTLD Program, as described in the Draft Applicant Guidebook (icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/draft-rfp-clean-04oct09-en.pdf [PDF, 198K]) and accompanying memoranda. Specifically, the Board Letter requested that the GNSO provide input on whether it approves the proposed staff model , or, in the alternative, the GNSO could propose an alternative that is equivalent or more effective and implementable.

In response, t he GNSO adopted a resolution creating the Special Trademarks Issues review team (STI) on 28 October 2009, which included representatives from each Stakeholder Group ; At-Large; Nominating Committee Appointees; and the Government Advisory Committee, to analyze the specific rights protection mechanisms that have been proposed for inclusion in the Draft Applicant Guidebook. The STI delivered to the GNSO Council its Report [PDF, 272K], which describes an alternative model that the STI believes is more effective and implementable than the model proposed in the Draft Applicant Guidebook version 3. The GNSO Council unanimously approved the recommendations contained in the STI Report for public comment and consideration by ICANN when it finalizes the proposed model for trademark protection in the New gTLD Program.

For additional information on the new gTLD Program: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/related-en.htm.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: