In May, INTA had the opportunity to interview the Internet Committee Chairs, John C. McElwaine (Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, United States) and Paul D. McGrady (Winston & Strawn LLP, United States). The Association is working hard to ensure that trademarks are protected and respected in the digital world, and the Internet Committee plays a pivotal role in this advocacy work.
With 235 volunteers, the Internet Committee is very busy this year! There are 11 subcommittees, which is an increase from the 5 subcommittees in 2015. Each subcommittee has a specific focus on a topic. These topics include geographical Internet domain names, new gTLD industry issues and metrics, the future of IP at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the IANA Transition.
The IANA Transition is one of the biggest challenges that the committee has faced. On October 1, 2016, ICANN announced that the IANA functions contract officially expired and, as a result, the coordination and management of the Internet’s unique identifiers is now under the stewardship of ICANN and the volunteer-based multistakeholder community. ICANN is the body responsible for developing and implementing the policies and protocols for the domain name system. INTA devotes significant resources to ensuring that brand owners’ voices are represented in ICANN policy development processes and in the governance of the domain system. For those of you who are not familiar with ICANN, INTA’s Internet Committee has developed an ICANN 101 presentation that provides a high-level introduction to the organization.
For more information on the IANA Transition and all things digital, please join INTA at the upcoming Digital World Conference in Brussels, December 1–2, 2016.
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