Internet Commerce Associations requests investigation of Implementation Recommendation Team.
Internet Commerce Association Counsel Philip Corwin has sent a letter to ICANN’s ombudsman requesting an investigation of Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT). IRT was set up at ICANN’s Mexico meeting to suggest implementation procedures for new top level domain names. It primarily represents trademark interests.
According to the letter, IRT is acting merely as a back door attempt to change the rules of domain arbitration under Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). ICA believes:
The IRT has chosen to operate in a non-transparent manner that unfairly excludes meaningful participation by professional domain name registrants who are most likely to be affected by its recommendations. Further, it is becoming clear that the IRT is in significant part an expedited, backdoor process for proposing and implementing major changes in second level dispute procedures that will undermine and displace the UDRP and thereby substantially diminish the procedural and substantive rights it presently affords to good faith domain registrants. Further, there is a high likelihood that any such changes in dispute procedures implemented in the context of new gTLDs will quite probably migrate in short order to incumbent gTLDs, including .com.
While many companies understand the boundaries of trademark rights, others will surely use this as an opportunity to expand the rights of trademarks and capture generic domain names. For example, Hearst Corporation, publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine, has notified ICANN that it believes it should hold all rights to any second level domain name “Cosmo” or “Cosmopolitan”. These words are generic and can be used for purposes other than the magazine, such as the popular beverage of the same name.