ICANN Still Hopeful of June Approval For New gTLDs
Posted in: Domain Names at 23/05/2011 15:33
ICANN has announced they are still hopeful of gaining board approval of the new gTLD programme at the upcoming Singapore meeting, with the date slated being Monday 20 June.
In a joint statement by the ICANN Board and ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) following what the statement described as "another productive meeting to discuss the limited number of remaining issues related to the anticipated launch of the new gTLD program. This teleconference was the latest in a series of proactive, issue-oriented collaborations targeted at addressing GAC concerns to ensure the stable and secure delegation of new top-level domains."
In the statement, ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush recognised the members of the Governmental Advisory Committee, "for their energetic and well-intentioned devotion to the work of reviewing and improving the introduction of new generic top-level domains. The discussions have resulted in significant progress, including improvements to trademark and consumer protections, assistance for potential applicants from developing countries, and other areas of the program." Together, the Board and GAC have reviewed twelve issues, comprised of 80 sub-issues, discussing each in depth. The work has included several days of face-to-face meetings between ICANN's Board and GAC, meetings that were informed by preparatory papers and conference calls.
"In particular," Mr. Dengate Thrush noted, "the GAC Indicative Scorecard and the reports in response to Board-GAC discussions were concise, clear and helpful." Governmental Advisory Committee Chair Heather Dryden said, "the GAC appreciates the time taken by the Board to discuss remaining issues on the call and looks forward to continued progress as a clear signal that the Board is committed to enabling the formulation of true community consensus in developing policy that is in the global public interest as well as increasing the overall accountability and transparency of the organisation."
However for the approval to happen within the timeframe, it is most likely trademark lawyers will gain unreasonable compromises from ICANN given their seemingly successful lobbying of the US government.
Some of these compromises are likely to involved what Kieren McCarthy outlined on the DotNxt blog recently. In his posting, McCarthy wrote that "despite significant changes to IP issues in the latest version of the 'Applicant Guidebook', a number of concerns remain for the trademark crowd, including:
- The need for trademark owners to prove use of their trademark before they are eligible to pre-register domains or suspend new domains
- The need for there to be an exact match of a trademark and a domain name before a trademark holder is entitled to use ICANN's claims service (e.g. just 'gucci' rather than 'gucci-bags')
- Making the IP claims systems permanent (rather than running it for 60 days after a new launch and stopping)
- Reduce the number of domains that someone must lose before they are required to pay the costs of the action against them from 26 to around 5
- Provide more information about exactly how the processes will be run and make the rules used consistent."