Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New gTLD Objections and Dispute Resolution

Because recent new generic top level domain names or gTLDs opened by ICANN will likely lead to violations of existing trademarks, an objection period and dispute resolution process have been implemented. The objection period is provided to protect existing rights and interests. However, objections must be filed directly with selected Dispute Resolution Service Providers or DRSPs, not with ICANN. Grounds for objection include: “String Confusion,” i.e., if confusingly similar to existing TLD or another applied-for GTLD, to be filed with ICDR; “Legal Rights" objection, to filed with World Intellectual Property Organization or WIPO; “Limited Public Interest” objection to be invoked when the applied-for GTLD string goes against generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order under principles of international law, to be filed with the International Center of Expertise of the International Chamber of Commerce; and finally, “Community Rights” objections, e.g., substantial opposition to a GTLD application from a significant portion of the community that the GTLD string is targeting, filed with the International Center of Expertise of the International Chamber of Commerce. Within 30 days of the closing of the objections filing window, ICANN will post Dispute Announcements and notify DRSPs to begin the objection proceedings. For details on the procedure, including fees and response deadlines see - http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/objection-dispute-resolution and http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb/guidebook-full-04jun12-en.pdf