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June 17
INTA Travels to Brussels and Geneva to Discuss Internet Agenda

Recently, I represented INTA and the global trademark community in Internet-related meetings and an information technology conference in Brussels and Geneva respectively. These events have proven useful in raising INTA’s profile within the Internet community and for building bridges between INTA and other key stakeholder organizations:

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EU Meeting in Brussels
In Brussels, I spent a day and a half attending two events sponsored by the European Internet Forum (EIF). These events included a dinner with Fadi Chehadé, CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), to discuss the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition, and a breakfast featuring Jean-Jacques Sahel, ICANN’s VP of Europe (Global Stakeholder Engagement), and two panelists discussing the Internet’s ecosystem. 
 
I also met with the EU Representative to ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC), Megan Richards, and her Deputy, Christina Monti. In this meeting, we identified two issues that are of concern to the GAC with regard to the IANA transition: ICANN’s dispute resolution mechanisms and their effectiveness; and the role of the GAC and how it will be affected if it becomes a member association as part of the unincorporated association model, which has been suggested in the Cross Community Working Group (CCWG) Accountability Proposal.

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WSIS Meeting in Geneva
As INTA’s first-ever representative to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), sponsored by the International Telecommunications Union/United Nations (ITU/UN) in Geneva, I attended six sessions that focused on all aspects of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for achieving internationally agreed upon development goals. These sessions included topics related to Internet governance, the multi-stakeholder model and innovation as well as a session devoted solely to the IANA transition. The panel consisted of ICANN Board Member Marcus Kummar and representatives from ICANN working groups on stewardship and accountability.    
 
Overall, references to IP during the sessions focused on copyrights rather than trademarks. In a session on preserving cultural knowledge and innovation in which WIPO Panelist Michelle Woods, formerly of the U.S. Copyright Office participated, I raised the point that there are also trademark issues related to this topic that would be beneficial to discuss given the lack of awareness on this issue, especially among small and emerging businesses. The WSIS discussions fall in line with INTA’s new objectives focusing on brands, innovation and building bridges.
 
Looking Ahead
These trips, combined with the momentum from the Congressional Hearings of a few weeks ago, will help advance our Internet agenda. I will be attending ICANN 53 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on June 21, 2015. When I return home, I’ll be sure to share my insights from this trip as well. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter at @LoriKnowsNet for live updates from the #icann53 meeting.
 

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