The need to monitor and protect trademarks and other intellectual property in the online environment is as important as ever. Although this responsibility falls on the shoulders of the trademark owner, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has adopted policies to assist in this endeavor. With these policies and their associated protection mechanisms in place, there is, however, still much room for improvement. It is up to the trademark community to ensure that ICANN continues to protect trademarks in the ever-expanding Internet environment, and that can only be done if we make our voices heard.
ICANN hosts three public meetings per year at which stakeholders can take part in policy discussion and help shape Internet governance by representing their interests and expressing their concerns. ICANN 51, the next public meeting, will take place in Los Angeles, California, from October 12 through October 16, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
While there are myriad issues that will be discussed at this ICANN meeting, the following important topics should be of particular interest to corporate members of the trademark community:
- Transition of the U.S. stewardship of IANA and ensuring ICANN accountability in absence of the U.S. Government’s involvement.
- ICANN’s plans for a second round of new gTLD applications.
- ICANN’s upcoming review of issues relating to the first round of new gTLDs required by the Affirmation of Commitments.
- Name collision and the potential release of blocked names that are subject to Trademark Clearinghouse registrations without a sunrise process.
The schedule for the meeting and other important information concerning attendance can be accessed here. Brand owners are encouraged to attend to make their voices heard and to gather important information and updates on the new gTLD program and possible changes to the governance of the domain name system. This will be the last ICANN meeting to be held in the United States until 2016.
If you are planning to attend ICANN’s meeting in Los Angeles, please contact Kate Badura at firstname.lastname@example.org.