You ain't gona like this one guys: >> ICANN is currently considering a substantial change to the domain >> dispute process to enable trademark holders to rapidly shut down >> domain names that are textually identical or confusingly similar with >> registered trademarks. The proposal (which can be read at >> ICANN | Public Comment - June 2009 >> -report) was drafted by trademark attorneys for their clients. >> Importantly, the sessions were held in secret and they excluded >> others who were proposed as members or who requested to join. >> >> The New Uniform Rapid Suspension Scheme represents perhaps the single >> greatest risk to domain holders in the history of ICANN. Though >> created for New Gtlds, its authors have openly stated their goal to >> have it applied to ALL domain extensions. Here is a very general >> summary. The complete report can be found at: at >> ICANN | Public Comment - June 2009. >> Public Comments are open until July 6, 2009. >> >> 1. Single ADR provider to provide services "at cost" (ensures a >> trademark community ADR sponsor). >> 2. 1 page complaint with check-box "elements" and no signature or >> authenticity statement by the person filing (see form). >> 3. Complaint may pertain to 0-200+ different domain names and >> trademarks. There is no limitation and no requirement that a >> complaint deal with only 1 trademark. Thus, the complaint can >> theoretically address 200 domains and 200 separate trademarks. >> 4. Fixed filing fee for Complainant ranging from $200 (0-25 domains), >> $250 (26-100 domains) and $300 (for 101-200 domains). Over 200 >> domains fee "TBD". >> 5. Notification by email and regular mail only (No provision for fax >> notification). >> 6. 14 day response period, starting from date email notice is >> provided and posted letter is sent (not received). >> 7. Response single page check box response (see form) 8. Examination >> by single panelist appointed by the ADR provider. >> 9. THERE IS NO REFERENCE TO LEGAL STANDARDS. Thus, the examiner is >> free to apply whatever law they desire (or no law if they think their >> own ideas are better). >> 10. Evidence standard is "clear and convincing" that no genuine >> contestable issue remains. >> 11. Elements are said to be identical to a UDRP. HOWEVER, legitimate >> interest is not defined (at all) and the bad faith standards are >> "non-exclusive". For example, there is no language similar to the >> legitimate interest defenses in the UDRP. Further, there is no >> defense based upon the Respondent holding a trademark, business license, etc. >> 12. The factually intensive nature of legitimate interest/good faith >> means that respondents must file extensive responses akin to those in >> a typical UDRP while the complainant is required merely to check the box. >> 13. If a complaint wins, the Name Servers are disabled and the domain >> expires at the end of its current registration (thus creating a new >> problem for the person picking it up on the drop). >> 14. If a Complainant loses it may appeal, file a de novo (a "do >> over") UDRP, or proceed to litigation. >> 15. If a Respondent loses, it may appeal (to a singular ombudsman and >> pay a fee) or file litigation BUT litigation may ONLY be filed in the >> jurisdiction of the registrar or registrant. AND, if the respondent >> files subsequent litigation, it must pay a fee to the ADR provider as >> a condition for keeping the site live. >> 16. Abusive Complaints. While paying lip-service to abuses, the >> proposal defines an "abusive complaint" as one without merit. This >> is an even higher standard than is set out in the UDRP and there are >> very few reverse Highjacking rulings. If a complainant has 3 abusive >> complaints the only penalty is that it may not file a complaint for 1 >> year (presumably it could then have a sister company or licensee do so). >> >> >> The IRT (the committee having written this proposal) has openly >> stated that while the proposal is for NEW Gtlds, they will push to >> have the system applied to ALL domain extensions. The system would >> be incorporated within the registration agreement. >> >> >> This is a serious erosion of rights to the clear benefit of trademark >> holders who seek to further increase the power of their marks. While >> claiming not to expand legal existing standards of trademark rights, >> the system seeks to preclude the registration or use of any domain >> name if it is textually identical or confusingly similar to a registered mark. >> >> >> The lack of any legal standard to be applied acts to create a >> "law-unto-itself" in conflict with the national laws and >> international treaties pertaining to trademarks. >> >> >> The fact that a respondent must file a full "UDRP-type" response >> places the entirety of the burden upon the respondent and allows the >> Complainant to obtain a free-look at all defenses and then proceed to >> a UDRP. >> >> >> A public forum will be held by ICANN in London on July 15, 2009. The >> event will be held at Royal Institute of British Architects Address: >> 66 Portland Place | London | W1B 1AD | UK, starting at 9am. There >> are invited speakers but again, the IRT has filled all scheduled >> speaking positions with invited trademark guests. That leaves only >> open microphone comments for the domain industry. >> >> >> Please make plans to attend this event. pre-registration is required >> which can be done at gTLD Program Global Consultation and Outreach Events. >> >> >> Even if you are not able to speak, your presence (with placards) will >> send a strong message to ICANN rejecting this attempted land-grab by >> trademark holders. Please also submit your public comment at >> ICANN | Public Comment - June 2009. >> Public Comments are open until July 6, 2009. Please try to post a >> meaningful comment :. ...On that shocker - anybody going to register and attend on the 15th? Rgds, Sneezy.