Speaking up: IPC fights for gTLD protection


Jonathan Cohen

In the rush to launch new gTLDs, many feel that IP concerns have been marginalised, but now’s the time to rally round, says Jonathan Cohen.

Although there continues to be a strong feeling in many Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) communities that there is no public demand for the programme, and no proven public need, ICANN’s board of directors has decided to move forward with the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) programme.

The introduction of an ‘unlimited’ number of new gTLDs is likely to create a ‘land rush’—in the top and second levels—of previously unheard-of proportions. The clear winners in this situation are those in the domain name business, namely, those who will become ‘back-end’ registrars for the many new gTLDs, and the registries which will have hundreds of new gTLDs in which to sell domains.

Also, some will sweep up as many desirable domains in new gTLDs as possible— including those which contain trademarks—and then try to re-sell them for a considerable profit. The Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is available as a defence to this practice, as is court action, but if the sale of the domain name is properly priced, many brand owners will choose to pay, as it is quicker, cheaper and certain, and the domain purchasers know this.

gTLDs, ICANN, domain names, UDRP, IPC, GNSO